Harald Magnus Andreassen, Omikron | Chief economist asks the government to take action:

Harald Magnus Andreassen is chief economist at Sparebank 1 Markets. He has been concerned about the financial cost of the coronation measures throughout the pandemic, and has praised the authorities in the past for handling the pandemic in a good way.

– Many countries had major problems, but Norway did much better than others. We were careful and got the R number down, so we did not overload the hospitals. In the previous rounds, the economy would be hit hard anyway, so it was right with the measures we introduced, but now we know that omikron does not create problems for the health care system. Thus, the measures are no longer in line with the benefits, Andreassen tells Nettavisen.

It was Dagens Næringsliv that first mentioned the case.

– The health authorities now justify measures that “everyone” can not be infected at the same time, because someone will end up in hospital and it will result in a large sickness absence. What do you say to that?

– Now we have seen in recent weeks that the health service is not overloaded. On the contrary, the number of inpatients falls on intensive care. Those who are in the hospitals are “overhangers” from the delta variant. This is not a Norwegian phenomenon alone. We see it in the UK and Denmark as well. In the UK, they have also removed the corona measures. When it comes to sick leave, I think it is exaggerated.

– If you are not completely alert, but still healthy enough to work, then you can use a mask. It has been communicated anyway that we will be infected the whole gang, so then it will not be dangerous. Immunity is building up so fast now that we no longer need action. Omikron “burns” through the people in a short time. We have 40 hospitalizations per one million in Norwegian hospitals, says the chief economist.

Feels safe

The government has said that they will reconsider the current corona measures at the beginning of February.

– I am sure that the corona measures will be removed then, but they can be removed already now. Two weeks ago we did not know enough, now we know that omikron does not create problems for the health care system. The question now is just whether it will happen in two weeks or within that time. I am not a medicine, but a social economist and now see that the measures are not real in relation to the large costs we have due to the measures, says Andreassen.

– It has not been signaled by the authorities that the measures will disappear at the beginning of February, or for that matter before that, why are you so skeptical?

– This depends on the facts. It has been argued that the health service is falling apart or that there will be a high level of sickness absence, and that is of course within, but now we see that this is not the case. Should the government still not remove the measures as soon as possible, they will have a hard time legitimizing this. I say it again, there is no reason for action anymore, but should it suddenly go the “crazy” way, we will do what we need to stop the development. Now, however, there is nothing to suggest that, the chief economist states.

«The moment of freedom»

One who thinks along the same lines as Andreassen is FHI chief physician Preben Aavitsland. In his recent blog, he was clear that our lives are soon back to normal.

Read more here: Aavitsland: – The moment of freedom is approaching

“The moment of freedom is approaching. It can be a freedom from the corona threat, the corona fear and the corona measures. Soon it will be time for people to take responsibility for testing, isolation and notification of close contacts, and they in turn can take responsibility for monitoring symptoms and testing themselves “, writes Aavitsland and adds:

“Everything can be opened, so people can decide for themselves how much they want to protect themselves. If we end the quarantine, yellow and red levels in schools, and staying home with only a mild cold and negative test, absenteeism in schools and workplaces will be significantly reduced. writes the FHI top.

Contagion peak and test chaos

Earlier this week, the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said that an infection peak was expected at the turn of the month.

– In South Africa, they had a very rapid increase in infection, and then they got a fairly rapid decrease even after they had been through the peak of infection, said department director Line Vold to VG.

This is also reflected in the infection figures after a new infection record was set in the last 24 hours with 16,877 new corona infections. In Oslo, a record was also set with 3,785 cases and now several large cities have sounded the alarm, because the test system can kneel at any time.

Also read: Health councilor Robert Steen with a clear prayer to the authorities – asks for change immediately

– We must reduce the queues at the test stations on Monday, says health councilor Robert Steen (Labor) VG.

The Minister of Health and Care Services has not put the corona passport solution in the drawer yet:

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Look at this as the solution

He asks national authorities to replace PCR testing with rapid tests, as soon as possible.

– What is the situation is that of the 10,000 who come to take the PCR test in Oslo today, 40 percent have already finished testing with rapid tests. 4000 actually come to confirm the result they already have. We have a need to reduce the queues, and the easiest thing is if we can remove those who have already taken a positive quick test from Monday, Steen says.

Kristiansand mayor Jan Oddvar Skisland (Labor Party) also talks about a difficult test situation. On Friday, there was a meeting in the KS metropolitan network, which Skisland leads. The Ministry of Health and Care Services also participated in this meeting.

– All eight big cities addressed this. It was a very clear signal. It was clear from the big cities that we are about to kneel, says Kristiansand mayor Jan Oddvar Skisland to VG.

The Ministry of Health and Care Services tells Nettavisen, even though they participated in the meeting, that it is the Norwegian Directorate of Health that answers questions about the test system.

– We have worked for several days to find solutions that reduce the number of confirmatory PCR tests significantly, and which at the same time address the need for pandemic monitoring and provide the opportunity to register positive answers in the corona certificate for those who need it. We believe that it will be resolved fairly soon, writes assistant health director Espen Rostrup Nakstad in an e-mail to Nettavisen.

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