Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre tells TV 2 that it is serious that there is a virus variant whose extent is unknown.
– We must take this very seriously. If such a case occurs with us, we must be sure that there will be isolation and not spread.
– Do we need major national measures now?
– You’ll hear about that tomorrow. We have a clear message when I explain tomorrow. Both on what we do nationally and the strategy for vaccination. Vaccination is the most important thing we can do nationally and in the municipalities. I also think with the new virus, should it come to Norway, vaccination is a main strategy.
– Will there be more measures tomorrow?
– There will be measures tomorrow, says Gahr Støre.
Støre om omikron: – There will be measures tomorrow
– Proposed the measures that are necessary
Health director Bjørn Guldvog says that the measures that can come are next to what came on Monday, ie testing, isolation and quarantine.
– Then there will be talk about what measures we can have at the borders, and what national measures are relevant to delay the new variant. We have proposed the measures that are necessary in the first phase.
He adds that it is not proportionate with a closure of society now.
– We have a far better protection in the population, and the most important thing is to get everyone over the age of 65 and health workers vaccinated quickly with a third dose. So that the risk of serious illness decreases, says Guldvog.
– The arguments for national measures have strengthened
Guldvog further says that these are new measures that have been discussed and recorded earlier.
But then the question is whether the government should decide whether it should apply nationally, regionally or locally. It’s about bandages and homework, for example.
– Do you think the time has come for national measures?
– I think the arguments for national measures have strengthened in recent days with omikron. It is important to communicate a clear message to the population, so that everyone is aware of what applies.
– Will we notice it in everyday life?
– We are looking for measures that in the first instance are not intrusive in relation to business, culture and as little as possible also tourism. It is possible to find good measures that are not so intrusive and that have such major socio-economic consequences.
Guldvog on new measures: – To delay the spread of the new variant
Can be in Norway
Camilla Stoltenberg, director of FHI, tells TV 2 that omikron may have already come to Norway.
– It happens that there are other laboratories that confirm it, and they report it to us. They do it pretty fast. We are prepared for it to be in Norway, even though we do not have any confirmed cases.
– It’s a matter of time. Do we talk for hours, days before it is in Norway?
– We must reckon with yes, and we must reckon that it is already in Norway. It may also have been in the other countries longer than today. It is now discovered because it becomes easy.
Stoltenberg about omikron: – Can already be found in Norway
Proven in Sweden
A case of omicron has been proven in Sweden, the variant was discovered in a sample taken a little over a week ago from a person living in Scania.
The person had recently returned from a stay in South Africa and the sample was sequenced within the framework of the ongoing national surveillance of the coronavirus.
– It was expected that we would be able to prove the variant also in Sweden, because it was discovered in several other countries in Europe. The information we have about the variant means that we should take it very seriously until we have more knowledge, says Karin Tegmark Wisell, director of the Swedish Public Health Agency.
Suspects several cases
Two people who arrived in Jönköping in Sweden from South Africa have also tested positive for corona. The health authorities in Sweden fear that these too are infected with the omicron variant.
– The samples have been sent to the Public Health Authority’s laboratory for sequencing, says infection control chief in the city Malin Bengnér to Today’s News.
The infected have been told to go into isolation, and infection detection is underway.
There are also two suspected cases of the new omikron variant in Finland, according to the Finnish Institute of Public Health.
Local authorities have ordered the two people to isolate themselves and have mapped out their close contacts, according to the Finnish Institute of Public Health (THL).
In both the suspected cases, the infected have had contact abroad. THL will not say which countries are in question until it has been established that the cases are of the omicron variant.
The test results from the two infected will come within a week, says THL.