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R-number below 1 and decreasing spread of infection – VG

HOLIDAY: Easter led to a big change in test numbers in Norway, but has it led to an increase in infection? That’s the big question. Photo: Helge Mikalsen

The number who tested themselves dropped dramatically at Easter. At the same time, FHI estimates that the R-number since 15 March is below 1.


Just updated

FHI’s mathematical modeling that the trend in the spread of infection has been declining.

They estimate an R-number of 0.86, which means that an average of 100 infected people infect 86 others.

But there are big differences within the country, FHI points out:

  • Møre and Romsdal is estimated to have the highest R-number in Norway since March 14, with an R of 1.5 and an increasing spread of infection. But the uncertainty for this estimate is large (between 0.4 and 2.7, which means that the number may be somewhere in between).
  • Also Vestland is estimated to have an R number above 1 by 1.3. But here too the uncertainty is great (between 0.4 and 2.2).
  • Oslo and Viken is estimated at 0.9 and the trend in new cases is likely to be declining, according to FHI. The calculation of the R-number for the counties applies from 14 March to 4 April.

Big drop in testing this Easter

Norway went into Easter with strict measures all over the country, measures that were to push down the infection. At the same time, the holiday weeks this winter have been times where people have gathered more – and the infection rates have risen.

It is still too early to conclude what effect Easter had on infection rates. Nakstad says the situation is uncertain:

But now we have better numbers on what happened at Easter.

We can start with the infection rates. As you can see here, fewer infections were registered at Easter than the week before:

– In week 13, the decline in the number of reported cases continues since the peak in week 11, FHI points out in a recent weekly report.

At the same time, there was also a large drop in the number tested. There were over 190,000 tests in weeks 10 and 11. In the week before Easter, it rose to over 200,000.

But at Easter, a big drop came down to 114,000:


So when FHI points out that the infection rates show a decline, they also point out:

– The trend is uncertain, however, as the figures are characterized by a significant reduction in the number of people tested.

The proportion of positive samples increased during Easter. In other words, a larger proportion of those who tested themselves at Easter were positive:

It may be a sign that the infection in society is rising. But not always.

As the number of people who have tested themselves has decreased, it may also be that the infection situation has not changed much. That those with symptoms and suspected infection have tested themselves as before – and that we see this because many who were negative in any case, did not test themselves. Even then, the share will increase. In March last year, for example, few were tested – and there were strict requirements for who received the test – and then the proportion was positive.

Again: FHI points out that the trend is uncertain.

– Data for the current week will give a better picture of the epidemiological situation after the Easter holidays, they write.

Other points from FHI’s weekly report

  • The English variant: NIPH estimates that this virus variant accounts for 83 per cent of cases in Norway. They point out that the proportion is highest in Vestland (96 percent), Oslo (93 percent), Trøndelag (90 percent) and Vestfold and Telemark (89 percent), while it is lowest in Nordland (19 %).
  • The South African variety: According to FHI, the proportion with this variant is approximately 2 per cent, when both confirmed and probable samples are included. They point out that it is mainly reported from Nordland (76 percent).
  • Hospital: The number of new hospital admissions has been relatively stable over the past two to three weeks, FHI points out.
  • Border testing: Figures from week 12 show that 12,551 people were tested at test stations at the border, 92 people (0.8 percent were
    positive on arrival and 168 (1.5 percent) were positive within 10 days of arrival. The highest proportion of positives was among immigrants with a country of birth in Asia (2.6 per cent) and the lowest among Norwegian-born (0.5 per cent), writes NIPH.
  • Immigrant population is severely affected and overrepresented in hospitalizations and infection rates, FHI points out. Persons born outside Norway accounted for 13.36 per cent of reported cases last week and 52 per cent of new admissions. “In recent weeks, however, the number of new hospital admissions has increased among people born in Norway and decreased among people born outside Norway,” writes FHI. .
  • Infection pressure is highest in the younger age groups, 10–19 years and 20–29:

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