Sunday, May 15

FHI: I think hundreds of thousands will be infected in the winter wave – “very strong measures” are needed to stop it

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is expecting a powerful winter wave with omicrons that it is not possible to stop. At the same time, the variant results in fewer cases of serious illness.

Director of FHI Camilla Stoltenberg at a press conference about the corona situation. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB

– The Norwegian Institute of Public Health expects a significant winter wave from the pandemic in Norway in January – March. Hundreds of thousands will be infected. An omicon-driven winter wave is not possible to stop, but it may be possible to dampen the top of it, writes FHI in its latest risk assessment.

It summarizes that it will require very strong contact-reducing measures to put down this winter wave.

– The wave can grow again as soon as the measures are removed. The handling through the winter wave is therefore about slowing down the epidemic – with the least possible intervention measures – so that the simultaneous burden of disease and the burden on the health service and society does not become intolerable, writes FHI.

Under 150 respiratorpasienter

At the same time, FHI estimates that the number of patients on ventilator treatment will not increase to more than 150 at the same time.

– The winter wave in January – March will result in fewer than 50,000 new infections per. day, less than 5 percent of the population infected at the same time, less than 200 new hospital admissions per. day and less than 150 at the same time during respiratory treatment, writes FHI, which emphasizes that there is great uncertainty associated with the estimates, and that they can be affected by changes in measures.

Today, 264 are admitted to Norwegian hospitals, of which 80 are in the intensive care unit. Of these, 61 receive respiratory treatment.

Significantly less disease risk

In its latest assessment, FHI states that the omicron variant offers significantly less risk than the delta variant for the serious course of the disease in the infected, at least if they have been vaccinated. But at the same time, it is emphasized that the omicron variant has significantly greater dispersibility.

It is concluded that it is not possible to stop an omicron-driven winter wave, but that it may be possible to dampen the top of it.

– The consequences of such a winter wave are especially increased disease burden, increased sickness absence in society and increased burden on the health services, writes FHI.

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