Omicron spikes in Nordic region
Norway, Sweden and Finland are all experiencing their highest number of infections since the start of the pandemic. Norwegian health authorities on the 4th of January reported almost 8,000 new cases, while the number in Sweden was more than 17,300. In Finland, almost 6,800 new cases were registered.
It is almost a doubling in only a couple of days.
The omicron accounts for a lion’s share of the new cases.
The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) believes Omicron to be behind about 90 percent of the new cases in the Helsinki region. And the situation is soon expected to be the same in the rest of the country.
There is now also an increase in the number of covid-patients in hospitals. In the broader Uusimaa region near Helsinki, there are now about 100 people hospitalized with covid, a doubling in two weeks.
“The variant has spread throughout Finland [and] we can expect that a situation similar to that in the Helsinki metropolitan area will take place across the country,” Mika Salminen, director of health security at THL, says to Yle.
In Norway, omicron accounted for more than 65 percent of all new cases the last week of December, the country’s Public Health Institute informs. The mutated virus had the highest prevalence in the north of the country. In the region of Troms and Finnmark, omicron that last week of the year accounted for 89 percent of the cases.
Norwegian health authorities expect continued major increase in the number of cases.
Two weeks later, the figure is believed to exceed 90 percent.
In Norway, about 55 percent of the people in hospital are unvaccinated. Only about 15 percent of the patients are fully vaccinated with three jabs, the Public Health Institute informs.
In its latest weekly report, the institute underlines that a “considerable wave of the omicron” can be expected over the coming weeks. It will lead to strained hospital capacity and there will be a major sick-leave on work places, the report reads.