Norway health officials expects Covid-19 count to rise in the summer with the dicovery of novel subvariants but doubt the reintroduction of lockdowns.
The new Omicron subvariant BA.5 will likely dominate infections in Norway in the next few weeks. Norwegian Institute of Public health’s (NIPH) Chief Doctor, Preben Aavitsland while speaking witt NTB said, “We anticipate a small outbreak. However, it is unlikely to be as huge as what we faced from February to April. So, only a few hundreds will likely experience reinfection.”
The hitherto prevalent Omicron variants, BA.2 and BA.1 is believed to be behind about 3 million cases in the country as reported by NIPH.
The success of the new subvariant’s transmission is partly due to declining immunity among the populace said Aavitsland.
Currently, there is no proof that the new subvariant lead to more severe sickness that the past Omicron mutants.
“Apparently, BA.5 leads to minor symptoms in the population compared to BA.2, thus there is no reason to believe hospitalizations will rise,” Aavitsland explained to NTB.
According to the senior medical authority, new lockdowns is not probable. “It is not expected that we will suggest any regulations beyond a fourth jab for some class. Possibly, those above 65 and those in the high-threat category will need a fourth jab eventually,” he opined.
Espen Nakstad, the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s assistant director explained to NTB that the most prevalent strain all over Europe in the summer is probably going to be the BA.5 but agreed that lockdowns in Norway is not feasible.
At the moment, the people of Norway are encouraged to stay home if they get a positive test or suspect they have contacted the virus. This recommendation will stay while ramping up of home testing will become extensive explained Nakstad.
“The details of Covid-19 infections in Europe and Norway is foggy now but the number of hospital admissions have risen in June by a small amount,” he said to NTB.
The number of hospitalizations has risen for 3 consecutive weeks, ending at 130 the previous week. Although this is a 67% in just 2 weeks, it is still far less than the 545 admissions we had in March end.
“From a broader perspective, due to herd immunity in the community from vaccination and past infections, the BA.5 variant will struggle to spread,” he concluded.