The Norwegian authorities’ infection control measures are far from enough, says the head of the medical intensive care unit at Ullevål hospital. He fears that the virus will quickly run out of control if drastic measures are not implemented.
There are already 436 infections in Norway, one of the highest rate in the world compared to its only 5 million population.
On Tuesday night, the Directorate of Health notified that all social events over 500 participants should be canceled in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Health Director Bjørn Guldvog also asked events with more than 100 participants to assess the security measures.
The corona infection is now in a new phase, with more than 400 cases of infection in Norway. Several of them are without known source, reports NRK.
No Public Transport and Work at Home
Dag Jacobsen, head of the medical intensive care unit at the country’s largest hospital, Ullevål, believes the measures taken by Norwegian health authorities are not enough.
-The recommendation should be a maximum of 50 participants, not 500. Buses and trams must be monitored and restricted. We should introduce mandatory home office for all who can. I don’t think people realize the seriousness of what we face, says Jacobsen.
Health Minister Bent Høie said on Tuesday that Norwegian hospitals must plan for a “medium pandemic scenario”, in which 22,000 people are hospitalized.
But Jacobsen fears that there is a capacity problem in Norway.
Norway Must Wake Up
-We will definitely have a capacity problem. I am usually a carefree and solution-oriented professional, but we do not achieve this with the existing measures. Recently we heard Italian doctors warn us that Norway must wake up. We must take the tough measures now, says Jacobsen.
He also asks for mandatory quarantines from all coming from Germany, France, Austria, Spain, Italy and perhaps also the United Kingdom.
Based on knowledge of specific patients, Jacobsen finds that the infection in Oslo is already “out of control”.
Svein Lie from Director of Health says he understands the criticism Jacobsen make.
-At the moment, it is a lot about getting enough contagion equipment for staff and planning how to operate the hospitals. But it becomes demanding. They are right about that we may not have the capacity to do everything ideally, says he to NRK.