Sunday, January 16

Strict measures are defended with health services kneeling. But most countries have a larger proportion of inpatients than Norway.

Few countries have as low a proportion of corona patients as Norway. Congestion in the health care system is nevertheless used as the main argument for strict measures.

Doctor Anders Dyreborg Nielsen (right) is in the sealed infection room with a coronary patient who has quickly deteriorated. The photo was taken just before Christmas at Østfold Kalnes Hospital.

I FHIs risk assessment from 13 December, it was stated that significant measures were urgent. If not, the omikron variant could completely overload the health service. On the same day, the government adopted strict national measures.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has also emphasized the same. – The main reason for the measures is to have a health service that can do its job and provide everyone who becomes ill with safe and proper health care, and we have done that by now. But there is a great burden on those who work in the hospitals, Støre told NTB this Saturday.

But Norwegian hospitals had fewer hospital admissions in December than before the pandemic. Aftenposten wrote this week that in 2017, 2018 and 2019 there were more hospital patients with respiratory infections in December than there were last month. Corona patients currently make up 29 percent of patients with respiratory infections.

Low proportion of corona patients in Norway

But how is it in Norway compared to other countries?

The website “Our World in Data” collects data from official sources around the world. When we look at the proportion of the population admitted to hospitals with covid, we see that Norway is doing well. And so it has been throughout the pandemic.

Norway reached a peak in hospital admissions with covid disease on 17 December. Then there were 70 hospitalized per. million Norwegians. Now at the beginning of 2022, the number is between 50 and 60.

If we look at the hardest hit of the countries included in our graphics, the proportion affected is far worse. Poland has over 500 corona patients per million inhabitants, and was well over 600 on December 17. In the USA, there are now more than 350 inpatients with covid disorders per. million – and the curve has been rising sharply recently.

Finland has had about as low numbers as Norway all the way, but has slightly higher numbers than us now. Sweden has slightly higher numbers than Norway. Denmark has more than twice as high a proportion of corona patients as Norway at present, with around 130 patients per million inhabitants.

The relatively low number of covid patients in hospitals in Norway may also be a sign that the measures are working. Health director Bjørn Gulvog stated at Christmas that the measures have had a good effect, especially on the delta variant of the virus.

It is not only Norway that currently has measures. Many European countries have introduced restrictions, but the type of measures chosen varies.

Several countries are placing more emphasis on pushing for increased vaccination. France decided on Thursday to tighten the rules for vaccine passports. Among other things, it will no longer be enough to show a negative test if you want to enter restaurants and cultural events.

Italy decided on Wednesday that the vaccine will be mandatory for everyone over the age of 50. All over 50 who are taken without a valid green corona passport risk a fine of 100 euros, reports NTB. The British Prime Minister Boris Johsnon, on the other hand, stated this week that he hopes to “ride off” the latest wave of infections without introducing restrictions.

His country today has more than four times as many covid patients per. inhabitant as Norway.

Proportion of the population who are corona patients in some European countries

In early January 2022, the figures look like this in a number of European countries, given in corona patients per. million inhabitants:

  • Bulgaria: ca. 590
  • Poland: approx. 510
  • Slovakia: ca. 390
  • Ungarn: ca. 360
  • Serbia: ca. 320
  • France: approx. 310
  • United Kingdom: approx. 270
  • Spain: approx. 270
  • Italy: approx. 270
  • Czech Republic: approx. 250
  • Switzerland: approx. 210
  • Estland: ca. 180
  • Belgium: approx. 160
  • Denmark: ca. 130
  • Portugal: ca. 110
  • Finland: ca. 90
  • Austria: approx. 70
  • Sweden: approx. 70
  • Netherlands: approx. 60
  • Norway: approx. 60
  • Island: ca. 60

(Figures for Germany are not given in these statistics. We have rounded to the nearest whole number from the last available figure. The latest figures for the various countries when obtained are from 2 to 7 January 2022. The figures for Norway are also from 2 January, and the number of inpatients has fallen in the days since.)

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