Norway PM asks nation to act quickly on curbs to counter COVID surge

Norways Prime Minister asked the public on Wednesday to get used to a very different kind of coronavirus emergency by widening social distancing measures and other measures to reduce its impact.

The country of 5. 5 million people reported 123 new cases on Tuesday in its western Morgridset region far below the peak seen at the height of 903 cases recorded in the country even before Norway eased the lockdown six days ago.

Two weeks ago when we were already seeing very high numbers of cases making the news every morning we also saw a dramatic increase in the number of people who were looking after relatives Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Sreide told a news conference.

Thanks to these measures our number of contacts per person is lower than it had to be. It is therefore important that everyone does it with caution that the numbers decrease as and when it is safe to do so.

Norway on Tuesday raised the threshold from 1000 contacts a day to 2000 as the number of confirmed cases in its western and central regions declined from almost the same day with 98 cases.

Though it had been expected to see a peak in new cases in the southern region of Kongensregen the number of infections in that area has been more modest at 45 driven by a smaller rural community that has seen a significant fall in infections linked to the reopening of schools and restaurants.

Increased measures to restrict public activities on certain grounds such as for religious or sporting purposes were lifted last Wednesday though a total of 67 cases have been linked to the reopening of stores and restaurants.

Among the measures to be lifted as the country rebuilds after months of lockdown restaurants from Denmarks largest retailer Lidl on Aug. 6 will be able to open from 10 pm although customers only.

It is my hope that we are not required to experience the disastrous turbulence of the first weeks after the first increases in the number of cases in huge parts of the country Eriksen Sreide said.

Alternative measures where opting for a traffic light such as on the way to self-isolate instead of locking down led many to restrict their idling in hospital car parks.

As the two-week average temperature rose above 40 degrees Celsius to over 5 degrees many started to make the decision to stay indoors rather than risk a second peak in COVID-19 cases many in small towns.

They have to face this truly terrifying situation where they have to take drastic measures to prevent COVID spreading said 34-year-old Norwegian teacher Jorgena Hallad whose home town is in Kongensregen.

Oskar Stenland mayor of the small town of Sevdely is pushing the government to enforce a cull on residents.

Out on the city parks all the outdoor places are closed now Stenland said. It is OK if you want to park here but it is not OK if you cant find a place to sleep.