Omicron outbreak at Norway Christmas get together is largest outdoors S. Africa, authorities say

Syringes ready with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19 at a vaccination heart on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.

Michaela Handrek-Rehle | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

At the least 13 folks in Oslo have been contaminated with the omicron variant of the coronavirus following a company Christmas get together described as a “tremendous spreader occasion,” and their numbers might rise to over 60 circumstances, authorities mentioned on Friday.

The outbreak passed off at a Christmas get together on Nov. 26 organized by renewable vitality firm Scatec, which has operations in South Africa the place the variant was first detected.

“This get together has been a brilliant spreader occasion,” Preben Aavitsland, a senior doctor on the Norwegian Institute of Public Well being, instructed Reuters by e mail.

“Our working speculation is that a minimum of half of the 120 individuals have been contaminated with the omicron variant through the get together. This makes this, for now, the biggest omicron outbreak outdoors South Africa.”

Except for the folks contaminated on the get together, Aavitsland mentioned, two folks dwelling on the nation’s west coast and two folks in quarantine at Oslo airport have been confirmed as carrying the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The outbreak led the Norwegian authorities to reintroduce some nationwide restrictions to curb the unfold of Covid-19.

Throughout Europe, firms are cancelling Christmas get together plans as a result of emergence of the omicron variant.


The primary particular person in Oslo confirmed as contaminated had attended the get together, the place a minimum of one worker had simply returned from South Africa. All of the attendees have been totally vaccinated and had examined unfavourable earlier than the occasion.

“Well being authorities have confirmed an extra 12 circumstances of omicron in Oslo after an outbreak,” town of Oslo mentioned in an announcement. “Thus far 13 omicron circumstances have been confirmed after sequencing. Extra circumstances are anticipated.”

Well being authorities mentioned the people contaminated have been to this point displaying delicate signs, with none hospitalized.

“It’s nonetheless too early to say whether or not the scientific image of the illness is totally different in Omicron infections than in Delta infections,” Aavitsland mentioned.

“Not one of the sufferers has extreme signs; none is hospitalised. Nevertheless, this isn’t surprising given the younger age of the individuals.”

Scatec mentioned it had been following authorities’ recommendation all through the pandemic. It additionally mentioned its focus was on caring for its workers and on limiting the unfold of the virus.

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