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Norway’s immigrant population was found to be hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of infections and hospitalisations. While overcrowding was previously pointed out as a possible explanation, a new health report has suggested other factors, such as extensive travelling, trips to high-risk areas, and extended families. Now, who could possibly have predicted such a thing?
Ludicrously, the Norwegian Public Health Institute (FHI) report goes on to claim: ‘Overcrowding and low educations do not explain the high levels of infections and a high number of hospitalisations among immigrants.’
Previously, staggeringly high infection levels among immigrants from Asia and Africa were recorded. 12 percent of Pakistani migrants were infected during the period examined, the Norwegian Public Health Institute noted.
Overcrowding has been pointed out as a possible explanation for the high infection rates by several pundits and politicians, including Oslo City Councilman Raymond Johansen.
According to the report, age, gender, and municipality of residence explained about 21 percent of the overrepresentation in proven infections among the foreign-born. Beyond this, no clear factors could be singled out. Not the brightest tool in the toolbox, FHI department director Thor Indsethsuggests that increased travel could be a contributing factor.
‘If there has been a lot of travelling to countries with a lot of infections, it can affect certain parts of the population. There is a slightly greater chance that now with the pandemic you limit your social interaction after returning from a trip abroad only to socialise with your loved ones. So if you have been travelling, and then associate with siblings and in-laws, this can mean a lot’, Indseth adds.
Earlier this spring, the Norwegian authorities urged immigrants to stop vacationing in their respective home countries, as the country saw a spike in imported COVID-19 cases. Elsewhere, Europeans are heavily penalised for travelling to other countries but migrants are merely advised not to do so.
We know that in immigrant groups, the extended family means a lot and is more important than for the rest of the population. Apparently, White indigenous families don’t have extended families.
Figures from Statistics Norway from before the pandemic show that in migrant groups it is more common to have more frequent contact with close relatives. So it is not inconceivable that this has also had an impact on the disease burden in the immigrant population’, Indseth said. Surely this is a racist comment?
Norway’s immigrant population was earlier found to be hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Immigrants tend to be infected and hospitalised with COVID-19 more often. Last week alone, the foreign-born accounted for almost 40 percent of new infections, and 56 percent of new hospitalisations. Immigrants make up approximately 17 percent of the Norwegian population. Source
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