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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Norway

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Norway
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Norway.svg
Map of regions with confirmed (red) coronavirus cases (as of 7 March)
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Norway by municipalities.png
Map of municipalities with confirmed (red) coronavirus cases (as of 31 March)
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationNorway
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseTromsø
Arrival date26 February 2020
(1 month, 1 week and 1 day ago)
Confirmed cases5,131[1]
Deaths
50[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic began in Norway on the 26th of February, with cases accelerating during the month of March to the point that a number of safety measures aiming to achieve physical distancing were introduced on the 12th of March. The first death attributed to COVID-19 was documented on the same day. Most confirmed cases that traces their origins outside Norway are brought with tourists returning from Austria[2] and Italy.[1]

As of 2 April 2020, Norway has performed 98,587 tests, reported 5,131 confirmed cases and 50 deaths.[1] A senior consultant at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the reason why the mortality rate appeared to be smaller than in Italy or Spain was the high number of tests in Norway.[3]

Timeline

Semi-log plot of COVID-19 total cases, new cases and total deaths per-day in Norway.[4]

February 2020

On 26 February, Norway confirmed the first case of COVID-19. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health announced that someone tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after returning from China the previous week. The female patient was asymptomatic and in good health. She underwent a voluntary isolation at her home in Tromsø.[5][6]

On 27 February, the Norway Institute of Public Health announced that three more people were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. Two of them lived in Oslo and were linked to the outbreak in Italy. The other lived in Bærum and was linked to the outbreak in Iran. All of them underwent a voluntary isolation at home.[7]

On 28 February, an individual from Bergen and an employee of Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, tested positive and were placed in home isolation. Both had visited Northern Italy.[8][9] 6 cases were confirmed in the country on the day.[8] On 29 February, there were 15 confirmed cases in Norway.[8]

March 2020

By Sunday, 1 March, a total of 19 cases were confirmed. Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth, the Chief of the Ullevål hospital in Oslo, informed that there are potentially over 100 people who came in contact with an infected staff member.[10][11]

On 3 March there were 25 confirmed cases in Norway, with 5 from Vestland. An employee at the kjøpesenteret Horisont in Åsane is confirmed to have been infected by the virus, says center manager Lise Færøvik.[12] Until this time, most cases are imported from Italy, and none of the cases are seriously ill thus all self-quarantined at home. A worst case is evaluated with a quarter of the Norwegian population infected, and measures are being taken by the governments to handle 1 million people.

On 4 March, there were 56 confirmed cases in Norway, all of which are linked to known outbreaks abroad.[13] So far only some few of those have been infected in Norway (notably 5 cases in one department of the Ullevål hospital, infected by a colleague who had been to Italy).

By 10 March the number of confirmed cases in Norway had spiked to 400, and a rising number of those cases could not be traced to foreign travel or any known person infected, indicating community transmission had started in Norway.[14]

On 12 March a national lockdown was announced, effective from 18:00 the same day. For two weeks, schools, kindergartens, fitness centres, hair salons etc. are closed. Sports and cultural events and gatherings are banned and restrictions apply to restaurants.[15] These measures are in line with the those introduced in other European countries such as Denmark and Italy. The same day Norway had its first death due to the COVID-19 virus. The victim was an elderly person who died at Oslo University Hospital.[16]

As of 13 March Norway introduced a ban on visits to Norway through Oslo airport. Norwegian and Nordic citizens, foreign residents in Norway and people continuing to another country are allowed anyway. Other people are dismissed and sent home as soon as possible and put in quarantine until then.[17] On 16 March this was extended to all borders of Norway and Nordic non-Norwegian citizens.[18] Domestic travel continues without any restriction. On 14 March, the second and third deaths caused by COVID-19 were reported.[19]

April 2020

Prevention measures and Response

The Norwegian Directorate of Health introduced a number of measures from Thursday 12 March 2020:[20]

  • All educational institutions were closed and organized sports activities were to be discontinued.
  • A number of events and businesses were closed, including cultural events, sports events, gyms and swimming pools. All establishments in the hospitality industry such as bars, pubs and clubs other than those serving food were to close, and any establishment serving food would have to ensure that visitors could stay at least 1 meter apart.
  • Healthcare professionals working with patient care were prohibited from traveling abroad until 20 April 2020. The ban applied to both business travel and private travel.
  • Everyone who had returned from trips outside Sweden and Finland since 27 February were to quarantine, regardless of whether they showed symptoms or not.
  • Leisure travel was strongly discouraged. The Directorate discouraged travelling to work unless strictly necessary and encouraged avoiding public transport if possible, as well as avoiding crowded places.
  • People were requested not to visit others in institutions with vulnerable groups (the elderly, psychiatry, prison etc.) and generally encouraged to limiting close contact with others.
  • The public transport schedule was to run as normal, to ensure that people with critical social functions could get to and from work and be able to distance themselves from each other.

On 16 March, non-residents were banned from entering Norway.[21]

As of 19 March, residents were prohibited from staying in cabins outside their home municipalities, in order to avoid putting strain on rural medical infrastructure. People suspected or confirmed to be infected must follow stricter home isolation rules. The government established fines for people violating home quarantine and home isolation rules or organizing events.[22]

Economic policy

Many institutions were closed in order to fight the outbreak, which led to increased unemployment. Norges Bank cut rates by a half point to 1.0% on March 13, then the following week cut rates again to 0.25%.[23]

Statistics

Growth trajectory of cases in Norway. Exponential growth (black line, doubling every day), cases data from FHI (blue points), fitted line for case data (red line).


New COVID-19 cases in Norway by region, FHI data()

Day Date Troms og Finnmark Oslo Viken Vestland Rogaland Agder Innlandet Møre og Romsdal Vestfold og Telemark Trøndelag Nordland Unknown Confirmed cases Deaths Svalbard Sources
New Total New Total
0 2020/02/26 1 1 1
1 2020/02/27 2 1 3 4 [24]
2 2020/02/28 1 1 1 2 7 [25]
3 2020/02/29 1 4 3 8 15 [26]
4 2020/03/01 2 2 4 19 [27]
5 2020/03/02 2 1 2 1 6 25 [28]
6 2020/03/03 1 3 3 1 8 33 [29]
7 2020/03/04 4 5 5 2 3 1 1 21 54 [30]
8 2020/03/05 7 6 5 2 1 1 2 6 30 84 [31]
9 2020/03/06 4 8 10 1 7 2 4 27 111 [32]
10 2020/03/07 5 12 1 5 4 6 1 34 145 [33]
11 2020/03/08 7 2 2 1 8 2 22 167 [34]
12 2020/03/09 5 2 9 3 1 1 2 23 190 [35]
13 2020/03/10 16 42 5 7 7 3 3 1 1 85 275 [36]
14 2020/03/11 1 72 38 10 38 1 7 2 10 3 212 489 [37]
15 2020/03/12 4 43 30 26 11 12 17 -1 7 12 1 132 621 1 1 [38][39]
16 2020/03/13 1 41 26 11 23 2 9 1 8 6 1 131 750 1 [40]
17 2020/03/14 4 15 51 23 14 18 8 9 9 3 3 156 907 1* 2 [41][42]
18 2020/03/15 4 59 47 17 8 3 15 4 9 4 166 1077 1* 2 [43]
19 2020/03/16 1 11 36 9 4 12 9 5 2 3 96 1169 0 2 [44]
20 2020/03/17 3 37 44 14 19 0 7 0 6 9 0 139 1308 0 2 [45]
21 2020/03/18 4 19 35 6 15 8 8 5 2 5 1 116 1423 1 3 [46]
22 2020/03/19 0 44 35 6 15 8 8 5 2 5 1 127 1552 3 6 [47]
23 2020/03/20 4 27 84 20 4 4 10 4 7 22 4 185 1742 1 7 [48][49]
24 2020/03/21 5 29 54 27 19 3 10 3 9 25 0 184 1926 0 7 [50]
25 2020/03/22 12 75 32 14 20 9 23 6 4 9 2 206 2142 0 7 [51]
26 2020/03/23 6 113 59 20 18 0 3 6 2 13 -1 239 2371 3 10 [52]
27 2020/03/24 4 22 73 45 14 1 12 2 9 14 0 196 2566 2 12 [53]
28 2020/03/25 14 62 69 18 15 9 30 9 12 22 4 264 2916 0 12 [54]
29 2020/03/26 18 97 62 29 17 6 2 5 22 40 2 240 3156 2 14 [55]
30 2020/03/27 23 159 111 35 7 14 53 3 10 25 7 [56]
31 2020/03/28 13 86 41 26 27 11 28 6 3 20 6 [57]
32 2020/03/29
Total 73 720 799 297 270 109 192 60 106 176 22 9** N/A 14
Notes:

- Data by FHI represent total cases by the start of the day.

* - A new death on March 13 will only be reported by FHI on Monday March 16, according to Folkehelseinstituttet (FHI)[58]

* - From March 25th, number of cases are reported from a different reporting system (MSIS), causing a bump in cases on March 25th.[59]



COVID-19 cases in Norway  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
2020-02-26
1(n.a.)
2020-02-27
4(+300%)
2020-02-28
7(+75%)
2020-02-29
15(+114%)
2020-03-01
19(+27%)
2020-03-02
25(+32%)
2020-03-03
33(+32%)
2020-03-04
54(+64%)
2020-03-05
84(+56%)
2020-03-06
111(+32%)
2020-03-07
145(+31%)
2020-03-08
167(+15%)
2020-03-09
190(+14%)
2020-03-10
275(+45%)
2020-03-11
489(+78%)
2020-03-12
621(+27%)
2020-03-13
750(+21%)
2020-03-14
907(+21%)
2020-03-15
1,077(+19%)
2020-03-16
1,169(+8.5%)
2020-03-17
1,308(+12%)
2020-03-18
1,423(+8.8%)
2020-03-19
1,552(+9.0%)
2020-03-20
1,742(+12%)
2020-03-21
1,926(+11%)
2020-03-22
2,132(+11%)
2020-03-23
2,371(+11%)
2020-03-24
2,566(+8.2%)
2020-03-25
2,916(+14%)
2020-03-26
3,156(+8.2%)
2020-03-27
3,581(+13%)
2020-03-28
3,845(+7.4%)
2020-03-29
4,102(+6.7%)
2020-03-30
4,226(+3%)
2020-03-31
4,447(+5.2%)
2020-04-01
4,655(+4.7%)
2020-04-02
4,935(+6.0%)
Sources: Official reports from Folkehelseinstituttet (FHI)
From March 25 onwards, the data is sourced from a different reporting system (MSIS), causing a bump in the official numbers on March 25.

References

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  2. ^ Andreassen, Tor Arne. "5. mars begynte varslene om koronasmittede skiturister å renne inn. Det tok ti dager før Østerrike stengte skiheisene". Aftenposten.
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