Norwegian health authorities, including Norwegian Institute of Public Health director Camilla Stoltenberg, have been receiving death threats as the country sees a rapid spike in COVID cases, local media reported. Gun Peggy Stromstad Knudsen, assistant director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) confirmed the development to Avisa Oslo. Saying that the FHI often receives emails with inquiries from people, Knudsen claimed that several recent emails and text messages received by the FHI expressed anger towards its employees and appeared to encourage and threaten their lives.
As per the report by Avisa Oslo, both the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Oslo State Council receive threats often related to new measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus and in connection with the country's COVID vaccination programme.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has advised employees to follow precautionary measures. The employees need to follow precautionary measures when they are at work and when they step out of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health premises, Avisa Oslo quoted Knudsen as saying. Furthermore, Oslo Health Councillor Robert Steen of the Labour Party admitted that he has also received threats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robert Steen told Avisa Oslo that he understood that people of the country are “scared”, but added that threatening to hurt health bureaucrats and health politicians will not help in making the situation better. Steen and City council leader Raymond Johansen spoke to the media regarding the new measures during the pandemic and as per Steen the threatening messages he receives are part of the job.
Meanwhile, Egil Jorgen Brekke, the head of the joint criminal unit in the Oslo police district, has confirmed that they have received reports of FHI employees getting threats and added that the police department is taking the threats ‘seriously’, as per the news report. Brekke insisted that threats received by elected representatives and government officials are taken as a "threat to democracy."
According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, as of 5 January, 412,471 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country. The number of people who have been admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19 is 7,313 and 1,471 people have been admitted to ICU. The overall tally of deaths recorded due to COVID-19 in Norway is 1,349.
According to the statistics provided by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 4,285,814 people have received the first dose of vaccine and 3,924,518 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.