There will be no full reopening next week, even if the hospitals are only “moderately charged”. Now the government is pointing to another reason for sticking to the measures.
Norway was partially shut down in December due to omicrons. The congestion of the hospitals was the biggest fear.
Since then, the infection has spread like never before. Nevertheless, the burden on hospitals is “fairly moderate”. It writes the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) on Wednesday.
Therefore, the government will make major relief next week.
– The figures for the number of admissions are stable, and few become seriously ill, explains Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol (Labor).
Will avoid too many sick at once
NIPH has said that most measures can now be eased. The Norwegian Directorate of Health agrees. But Kjerkol refuses to do anything until next week. And she’s not going to remove all the measures.
– There will be a need to keep some simple measures, says Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol (Labor) to Aftenposten.
– To prevent many people from getting sick at the same time.
Follows in Denmark
Kjerkol compares omikron with the flu season. Then they estimate that around 20 percent of the population is infected, she says. Now they expect everyone to be infected.
– Therefore, we should all take responsibility for ensuring that we are not infected at the same time.
The fear is now that the high level of infection will lead to such high absenteeism that it goes beyond companies and critical functions in society.
The directorate has already delivered its professional advice, says health director Bjørn Guldvog TV 2. Nor do they recommend a full reopening. On the other hand, they have done so in Denmark. They have been a few weeks ahead of Norway when it comes to omikron.
– We closely follow the choices they make in connection with measures and facilitations. We have good contact with our Danish colleagues, says Kjerkol.
15 percent absence
The measures we now have remain from the precautionary closure on 13 December. At that time, the intention was to avoid overloading the health service and protect critical societal functions.
Up to 15 per cent of the working population will be able to be away from work by 30 March. Both corona, other respiratory infections and isolation time may require people to stay at home. In 2019, sickness absence was 6.6 per cent in the same period.