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Oslo Hospital ophthalmology employees test positive for coronavirus

An eye department at Oslo University Hospital has been linked to approximately 7% of the 86 cases of coronavirus within Norway

Coronavirus and DNA
Credit: Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist

As of 3 March, six employees from the Department of Ophthalmology at the Oslo University Hospital, Norway, have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department of Ophthalmology has closed from 2 March to 6 March for all appointments outside of emergencies and necessary procedures or treatments to prevent loss of sight. As of the latest update, 130 employees at the department were quarantined.

The hospital has been working on identifying and contacting patients and employees who may have been exposed to infection. All 186 patients who had been at the unit where the first five infected employees work have been contacted.

It is recommended that patients who were admitted or hospitalised at the department from 24 February to 28 February should stay at home and limit social contact for 14 days after leaving the hospital.

Managing director of Oslo University Hospital, Bjørn Atle Bjørnbeth, announced a green emergency preparedness level for the hospital, calling it a “challenging situation” for patients and staff of the department.

“This week, we only plan to carry out immediate help and selected procedures in collaboration with the department leaders to ensure that patients do not receive loss of vision,” commented Mr Bjørnbeth, adding that the hospital is closely following developments.

The hospital is also asking all patients across the hospital with appointments who have recently been to a risk area or Northern Italy to contact the department to decide whether to attend or not.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that as of 5 March, 86 people across Norway have tested positive for COVID-19, 18 of these cases are in Oslo.

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.