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Norway is experiencing its fourth Covid-19 wave after recording 1,093 new infections in a day, the highest number of daily infections since the peak of its third wave in March, a Norwegian health chief said.
Espen Nakstad's comment after statistics were released on Tuesday comes after Preben Aavitsland, chief physician in the infection control division at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, declared in June that the pandemic in Norway was over.
Despite diagnosing a fourth wave, Mr Nakstad, assistant director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, said the country was able to cope by dint of its vaccination programme, and did not raise the spectre of a delay to its planned lifting of restrictions in September.
“We are definitely in a fourth wave of infection now, but the vaccination rates mean that we currently do not have a large wave of hospital admissions as of today,” he told newspaper Dagbladet.
There are 52 people in hospitals in Norway with Covid, 16 of whom are receiving intensive care, according to NIPH.
There is no data on how many of these patients are either fully or partially vaccinated, but Our World in Data figures show 48 per cent of Norwegians are fully vaccinated, placing it behind its Scandinavian neighbour Sweden, where 53 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.
Mr Nakstad urged Norwegians “to keep control so that not so many people become infected that the admission numbers also increase a lot.”
The Norwegian government will fully lift its Covid restrictions once everyone over the age of 18 has had their second vaccine dose. Ninety per cent have had their first shot, according to NIPH.
There is no concrete date set, but the government has previously said restrictions will be eased around September 12. After this point, local authorities will be able to implement their own safety measures as they see fit.