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British virus variant detected in Troms: The situation is under control - Norway

The municipality of Troms has received confirmation that most cases of infection in Troms are linked to the British variant of the coronavirus. The municipality has not introduced new local control measures.

The municipality confirms that the recent virus outbreak is the British mutation and believe they have control over it.

- We therefore see no reason to introduce new strict infection control measures, says chief doctor of infection control Trond Brattland during today's press conference at City Hall.

Brattland says that extensive testing made possible to the municipality to track the infection of those who have been tested positive. The infection was detected and managed quickly.

Well prepared

After a period with low contamination in Troms, the infection broke out last week. Five people have been confirmed infected in the last 24 hours. In total, on Tuesday morning, 44 people are in isolation and 252 in quarantine.

Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen, also present during the press conference, confirms that this situation is due to the British mutation of the virus.

- We have always handled the latest infection as if it were the British variant. This is the dominant variant in the country now, and the municipality is well prepared, says Wilhelmsen.

Trond Brattland says that they still need to acquire knowledge about the English variant.

The vaccines used now seem to work reasonably well.

Extensive testing is currently underway, which has led to queues at the test station in Troms city center.

Control can be lost

While the last outbreak of virus in Troms has been going on, about 3000 people were tested.

- There is always a danger to get a new infection and to run worse the situation. If we are unable to detect the infection early enough and do not manage early enough to test and track the virus, then we can quickly lose control and have to introduce strict infection control measures, says Brattland.

He says he hopes that only some months are necessary to vaccinate a high number of the population, and he therefore encourages people until then to avoid unnecessary travel, limit social contact and sign up for testing if they have symptoms.

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