For the first time since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, Norway has a higher proportion of confirmed infections in the population compared with Sweden during the last two-week period.  

- We have ended up at about the same level now, the latest figures show that we both have a small increase again.

But we are very happy that Sweden is down to a level that is about the same as in Norway and that we can open the border again.

But we think it is a high level in Norway, he says.

The increase is due to two regional outbreaks, one that has been traced to partying students in Bergen and one originating from a religious celebration in Sarpsborg.

The outbreak in Sarpsborg is under control, but in Bergen there is a societal spread that is worrying.

- We expect small and large outbreaks during the autumn and work hard with testing and quarantine, says Frode Forland.

Fast effect of shutdown

However, it is obvious that the neighboring country has so far fared significantly better during the pandemic with 265 deaths compared with 5,851 in Sweden.

Frode Forland believes that the explanation is the rapid closure of society in March.  

- We hit hard in March and with good timing.

The whole community understood that it was serious and we got a quick effect.

I think that is the reason why we have fewer deaths in Norway than in Sweden. 

Rapid closure meant fewer infections in society, and thus reduced the risk of the coronavirus reaching the elderly and risk groups, he says. 

- We have about the same level of deaths in nursing homes and nursing homes as in Sweden, 50-60 percent.

If you keep the pressure down in society as such, there will be fewer people dying in the institutions.

Giesecke apologized

Frode Forland has caused some headlines when he criticized the Swedish experts Anders Tegnell and Johan Giesecke and their statements about the Norwegian and Swedish strategies.

But the relations are good, he says.  

- Giesecke is my former boss and Tegnell my good colleague who I meet at web meetings every week.

Then it is okay to discuss the strategy openly.

And Johan has sent an apology by email for the tough tone, he says.