Christmas party leaves 50-60 people infected with suspected Omicron Covid in Norway

BREAKING NEWS: Christmas party leaves 50-60 people infected with suspected Omicron Covid in Norway in what would be the world’s largest outbreak of the variant to date

  • Officials said 50 people had positive PCR tests, 10 had positive lateral flow tests
  • At least one person at the celebratory party had recently returned from South Africa
  • Doctors ruled out the Delta variant, said it’s likely the new Omicron strain

At a Christmas party in Norway, between 50 and 60 people have been infected with Covid-19, presumably the new super mutant Omicron variant.

If confirmed, it would be the world’s largest outbreak of the new species to date.

Doctors ruled out the possibility that the infections are Delta variants, saying there was a “high probability” it was the new strain.

Officials said 50 people tested positive on a PCR test after Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec’s Christmas dinner at Louise Restaurant & Bar in Oslo.

Another 10 people got positive results from lateral flow tests, NRK reported.

The Christmas party was held in a locked room, but guests would mingle with other people in the restaurant after 10:30 p.m., when it turned into a nightclub.

At least two restaurant guests who were not involved in the Christmas party later also tested positive, although it is not yet clear whether they were infected at the event or from another contact. There were no waiters infected.

One of Scatec’s employees had recently returned from South Africa, where the company does part of its business.

It was not immediately clear whether the employee was patient zero or whether he had traveled for Scatec in South Africa.

Tine Ravlo, assistant chief infection control physician in Frogner District, said a preliminary screening of the samples from the cases showed it was likely it was Omicron.

She said the samples have been sent for sequencing, which will confirm whether it is Omicron.

Jorum Thaulow, head of the infection detection team in western Oslo, said all cases had been treated as if they had the Omicron variant and had been in self-isolation for seven days.

Thaulow told local media that the close contacts of the cases had also warned of a 10-day quarantine on the development of Covid-19.

At least 41 of the cases live in Oslo.