Fraser Nelson
Fraser Nelson

Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

Norway is assembling a picture of what happened before lockdown and its latest discovery is pretty significant. It is using observed data – hospital figures, infection numbers and so on – to construct a picture of what was happening in March. At the time, no one really knew. It was feared that virus was rampant with each person infecting two or three others – and only lockdown could get this exponential growth rate (the so-called R number) down to a safe level of 1. This was the hypothesis advanced in various graphs by Imperial College London for Britain, Norway and several European countries. But the Norwegian public health authority has published a report with a striking conclusion: the virus was never spreading as fast as had been feared and was already on the way out when lockdown was ordered.

Fraser Nelson

Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

Norway is assembling a picture of what happened before lockdown and its latest discovery is pretty significant. It is using observed data – hospital figures, infection numbers and so on – to construct a picture of what was happening in March. At the time, no one really knew. It was feared that virus was rampant with each person infecting two or three others – and only lockdown could get this exponential growth rate (the so-called R number) down to a safe level of 1. This was the hypothesis advanced in various graphs by Imperial College London for Britain, Norway and several European countries. But the Norwegian public health authority has published a report with a striking conclusion: the virus was never spreading as fast as had been feared and was already on the way out when lockdown was ordered.

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