On Thursday, several cases of the British mutation were detected, in addition to a total of four cases of the South African mutation in Bergen.
The route of transmission for one of the people with the South African virus is currently unknown, and this is the first time that cases of this virus cannot be linked to travelers.
Until Wednesday, only two cases of this mutation had been detected in Norway, according to FHI, and both could be linked to travel abroad.
May have to tighten
Bergen municipality has had low infection rates recently, but after the mutations were discovered on Wednesday, tightening has been up for consideration.
– We do not press the big red button today, but as a city we must prepare for it to happen, and that it can happen quickly, says City Councilor Roger Valhammer at a press conference on Thursday.
– Now we are in a dramatic time for Western Norway. There are large outbreaks in Ulvik, and we have detected mutations here in Bergen as well, he says.
Despite “dramatic news” elsewhere in Western Norway, however, Valhammer feels that they have the overview in Bergen.
He says the mutation outbreaks are limited to close contacts, and therefore currently under control.
– But it can turn around quickly, and then we are ready to act quickly, the city council leader emphasizes.
The municipality is therefore now also testing close contacts of close contacts in order to retain control.
Haukeland Hospital has also intensified the hunt for mutations and analyzes from Thursday of all positive samples from Western Norway and Northern Rogaland.
– Things can happen fast and it can change from hour to hour. The good thing is that Haukeland tests all positive corona samples to find out if there are mutations or not, says Valhammer.
Valhammer also thanks the people of Bergen and that so many have tested themselves.
Hunting «patient zero»
Health Councilor Beate Husa also says the municipality is experiencing control.
– Even though we do not know the route of transmission of one virus from South Africa. But there are still some test results we are waiting for, and the situation may change, she says.
The Health Agency says that the British cases of infection so far concern close contacts. The same applies to the South African, with the exception of this one person with an unknown route of transmission.
For the latter cases, the municipality is now working to hunt for the so-called “patient zero” – ie the source of infection for the person where this has not yet been clarified.
FHI also believes that the measures Bergen has today are sufficient, says Husa. However, the municipality has continuous contact with NIPH for advice.
– If we find more infection beyond this, and there are several mutant cases that are not linked to each other, we will soon be in a different situation and consult about possible current measures.
Husa says the situation in Bergen differs from, for example, the Nordre Follo outbreak, in that the cases of infection are probably limited to close contacts, and that the municipality does not currently have grounds for wild infection.