Assistant Health Director Espen Rostrup Nakstad in the Norwegian Directorate of Health answered Dagbladet’s readers’ questions about the coronavirus this morning.
A reader wondered:
– If people travel home for Christmas, meet family and socialize with friends without taking precautions, what can happen then? What is the worst case scenario?
– What we are afraid will happen is that you can risk infecting many if you come from an area with a lot of infection. But it can also go the opposite way, that you get infected at Christmas because you are with many people at a time when there is a lot of infection in society, says Nakstad.
– Limiting how many people you meet in different arenas will be important in the weeks ahead, also at Christmas. That does not mean that you can not celebrate Christmas, but it may not be this Christmas where you have to meet all your friends and go out every night.
May cause increased infection
– What do the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the authorities fear?
– It is possible that you can get an increasing infection after Christmas as a result of very many people having met very many in their family at Christmas. What is a bit problematic about meeting family and friends is that you know them well, so there are a lot of hugs.
– What really worries us most at Christmas is that many in the risk groups meet younger family members and relatives. So there are many people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill if they become infected.
– If it takes off at Christmas, can we get a situation where we are back to the way it was in March and April?
– I think it will take a little more than that, but I think we can get a setback if it is the case that the infection is high, everyone goes home and has a lot of contact with family at Christmas.
– How strong can the setback be?
– If very many travel and visit many people, and many return from abroad after Christmas with infection, it can affect the infection statistics after Christmas.
Travel if you are healthy
– If you travel home for Christmas, what exactly should you do?
– What you should concretely do is make sure the week before Christmas that you do not plan a lot of friend meetings where you know there may be a risk of infection. And then it is important to only travel if you are healthy.
– If you travel by car, there is little risk of infection. If you travel by public transport or plane, you must follow the infection control rules that apply, and wear a bandage if there is congestion.
– What should you absolutely not do at Christmas?
– To go home for Christmas if you are ill. You should wait until you have tested yourself and until you have recovered. And then you should not break the quarantine if you are in quarantine before Christmas. Although it is very tempting to break it and go to a Christmas party, you should not do it. You should rather join digitally, toast with your family digitally and have fun with them later in Christmas or at New Year.
Mouthpieces in March
– Why do face masks help now, and not in March, when the corona pandemic came to Norway?
– Yes, face masks would probably have helped in March if everyone had started using it in the public space. But at that time it was not known how much infection there was in the community, at least not in early March. There was also a great shortage of infection control equipment throughout the world, so if 5.4 million people in Norway were to start using bandages in March, there would not be enough bandages for use in hospitals.
– The reason why it was not recommended in the summer, is because there was very little infection in Norway.
– When the vaccines arrive in Norway, are you the first in the vaccine queue to set a good example?
– Here is a group of experts who look at which vaccines we should offer, how good they are and who should get them first, so this is a good system. Then we all have to follow that system, and we are very dependent on getting good information about the vaccines, so that we know what is documented by the effect, and what kind of side effects have been found.
– Then we can assess for ourselves whether we think the vaccine is safe, effective and whether we want to take it.
– What do you think about people who are vaccine skeptics?
– It is very understandable that many are skeptical about it, and there have been some experiences with vaccines in the past that make people skeptical. But the thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of vaccines that have been developed in the world, and that you get when you are a child, are incredibly well tested on many millions of people.
– The problem when it comes to new vaccines is that we depend on testing them on many people to show that they are safe and effective.
Transport home for Christmas
– Is it recommended to bring family members home in a private car at Christmas?
– I think it is quite possible to travel by public transport in a safe way if you plan well. On trains, there is often seating, and there are not many people standing in the compartment as it is on the subway during rush hour.
– It is quite possible to travel in a safe way, but it may be a good idea to bring a bandage, and if there is congestion, you may be able to use it. (…) The closer you get to Christmas Eve, the greater the crowds. If you spread it a little outwards, and travel a little earlier if you have the opportunity, then it can provide more space and less risk of infection.
New infected in Norway
At midnight on Thursday night, 34,268 corona-infected people were registered in this country. There is an increase of 551 reported cases since Wednesday night.
There are 17 more cases than the day before, preliminary figures from the National Reporting System for Infectious Diseases (MSIS) show.
116 corona patients were hospitalized on Wednesday. There were twelve fewer than the day before.
A total of 316 corona-infected people have died in Norway since March, preliminary figures show. Whether patients have died of or with covid-19 is not always possible to establish.
63.6 percent of all deaths have reached the age of 80. In the age group under 50, eight deaths have been reported in Norway.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Source link by https://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/nakstads-skrekkscenario—kan-fa-tilbakeslag/73110501
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