Status: December 3rd, 2021 9:38 pm
All vaccinated, all tested: Despite compliance with the rules, at least 60 people were infected with the corona virus at a celebration in Oslo. So far, an infection with the Omikron variant has been detected in 13 cases.
After a Christmas dinner in a restaurant in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, at least 13 infections with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus occurred. More than half of the around 120 – all of them vaccinated – guests at a Christmas party contracted the corona virus. Authorities believed that many of the infections were caused by Omikron. Tests have definitely confirmed this in 13 cases.
So far, the PCR test has been positive for 60 participants at the Christmas dinner, and at least the less precise antigen test has been positive for four more, the city administration said. The sequencing of the samples of those who tested positive continues. One of the participants in the celebration had recently returned from South Africa.
All guests vaccinated, tested and symptom-free
The Oslo health officer, Tine Ravlo, told the AFP news agency that the celebration took place as part of the Corona regulations and that “no rules had been broken”. “They were all vaccinated, none of them had symptoms and they had all done self-tests.” If further cases of infection with Omikron are confirmed, it will probably be the largest known outbreak of the new variant outside of South Africa.
But it is still too early to see this as evidence “that Omikron is more contagious than the Delta variant,” said Preben Aavitsland of the Norwegian Institute for Public Health. “There are also incidents of super-proliferation in the Delta variant.” It is also too early to say “whether the clinical picture of the disease in omicron infections is different from that in delta infections,” said Aavitsland. “None of the patients had severe symptoms, and none were hospitalized. This is not surprising, given the young age of the participants.”
“The situation is worrying”
As a precaution, the Norwegian government tightened protective measures for Oslo and the surrounding area. A mask must therefore be worn again in public transport, shopping centers, shops and taxis; Employees should work from home again if possible. The number of participants is limited for private indoor events.
“The situation is worrying,” said Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol. The Omikron infections showed that a corona vaccination “does not protect against infections well” in this variant. The city announced that it wanted to follow up all contacts intensively in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
Omikron variant could prevail
Norway reported the first four Omicron cases in the country on Wednesday. Infected people who are verifiably infected with the new variant, like their relatives, have to isolate themselves longer than other corona infected people.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has recorded 79 Omicron infections so far in the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the EU as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. On the basis of model calculations, the ECDC expects that Omikron could develop into the predominant Corona variant in Europe within a few months.