All staff had been double vaccinated and tested negative before reporting.
The party has described it as a “super-spreading event” with “at least” half of the coronavirus contracting. The number of people infected could reach 100, it has been reported.
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A company spokesperson told the New York Times that only vaccinated staff were admitted to the party and everyone tested negative for the coronavirus before the event.
The outbreak took place during a Christmas party on November 26 hosted by renewable energy company Scatec, which operates in South Africa where the variant was first detected. Everyone who attended is now treated as if they had the virus.
“This party was a big-ticket event,” Preben Aavitsland, senior physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, told Reuters by email.
“Our working hypothesis is that at least half of the 120 participants were infected with the Omicron variant during the party. This makes it, so far, the largest Omicron outbreak outside of South Africa. “
In addition to those infected at the party, Aavitsland said, two people living on the country’s west coast and two people in quarantine at Oslo airport have been confirmed as carriers of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said on Friday that it was currently confirmed that more than 50 people from the event were infected and that work was underway to map the number of people infected with the omicron variant.
“The epidemic in Oslo, along with participants from several other municipalities, is large, with many infected people and their close contacts being followed.
“It was recommended that all event participants be tested in advance, and there was high vaccine coverage in the group.
“The number of reported cases belonging to this epidemic is currently over 50 cases,” the statement said.
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People had traveled to the capital from a number of surrounding municipalities, the statement added, and the work will trace all the contacts that the infected people have had.
“More cases are expected. Effective tracing is underway to limit the routes of transmission and prevent major epidemics, ”the Municipality of Oslo said in a statement.
The outbreak has led the Norwegian government to reintroduce some nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19
There are reports that the Omicron variant spreads quickly, but causes mild disease, but research is ongoing. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the implications for other countries, such as the UK, given that South Africa has a much younger population who are less likely to be vaccinated.
The Welsh Minister for Health said on Sunday morning that details from Norway had “kept her awake all night”.
“We have to take a proportionate point of view. We are very aware that this is a very important time for the hospitality industry, but our main responsibility is to try to protect people. So we have to balance that. I have to say the one case in Norway kept me awake all night. Where around 120 people went to a party, they were doubly vaccinated, they all had lateral flow tests and 100 of them contracted the virus.
“This is undoubtedly worrying. How much do people get sick? We still don’t know, but if it spreads so quickly and easily, it will clearly have implications for us as a society. Where we’ll see a lot of people leaving, certainly in self-isolation, ”she said.
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