Following a business Christmas party described as a “superspreader event,” at least 13 persons in Oslo have been infected with the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, with the number of cases potentially rising to over 60, authorities warned on Friday.
The outbreak occurred on November 26 at a Christmas party hosted by Scatec, a renewable energy business with operations in South Africa, where the variant was initially discovered.
Preben Aavitsland, a senior physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, told Reuters via email that the party was a “superspreader event.”
“At least half of the 120 partygoers were infected with the Omicron variety, according to our working hypothesis. For the time being, this is the largest Omicron outbreak outside of South Africa.”
Aavitsland added that two persons living on the country’s west coast and two people in quarantine at Oslo airport had been confirmed as carrying the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, in addition to the people who were infected at the party.
Following the epidemic, the Norwegian authorities reintroduced several statewide regulations to stop Covid-19 from spreading.
Due to the advent of the Omicron version, companies across Europe are abandoning their Christmas party plans.
The first verified sick person in Oslo was at the party, where at least one employee had recently returned from South Africa. Before the event, all of the attendees had been completely vaccinated and tested negative.
The city of Oslo reported in a statement that “health authorities have confirmed a further 12 cases of Omicron in Oslo following an epidemic.” “After sequencing, 13 Omicron instances have been confirmed thus far. There will most likely be more cases.”
The afflicted people are demonstrating moderate symptoms so far, according to health officials, and none have been admitted to the hospital.
“It’s still too early to say whether Omicron infections have a distinct clinical presentation than Delta infections,” Aavitsland added.
“None of the individuals have serious symptoms, and none of them are in the hospital. Given the young age of the subjects, this is not surprising.”
Throughout the epidemic, Scatec stated it had followed authorities’ guidance. It also stated that it was concentrating on protecting its personnel and restricting the virus’s spread.