Crown Prince Haakon of Norway started an important tour on Tuesday this week, which will see him travel around large parts of Norway to observe how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Norway. The journey is partly done on board the royal yacht “KS Norge”. The first stop on the journey was Østfold, Norway’s southeastern region.
In August, Østfold experienced a large increase of coronavirus infections. His Royal Highness visited Askim city on Tuesday and was briefed on the challenges that the municipality has been through and the measures they are taking to tackle them.
The Crown Prince’s visit to Østfold started in local park in the city of Askim. The seventh graders at Askimbyen school handed over drawings about their experiences with the pandemic. Crown Prince Haakon then opened the new Park Room in Askim. The old event hall burned down in 2015, and the reconstruction started in 2019. His Royal Highness said: “I am impressed with the work that has been done in Østfold, and would like to give a big thank you to the residents who follow the infection control advice.”
Outside the mobile corona-test station in Askim, Crown Prince Haakon met with personnel who test, answer the municipality’s coronavirus phoneline and track infection. The mayor, Saxe Frøshaug, told the Crown Prince about local experiences and how the municipality responded to the outbreak in early August. Schools and kindergartens were closed again, along with a lot of other things. A rule was also passed that regulated private gatherings.
Kristian Devold is section manager for treatment and coping in Indre Østfold and showed the Crown Prince the area. There were also five people in full infection control equipment who perform the testing in front of His Royal Highness.
As of 7 September, 180 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Inner Østfold. Since 1 March until today, as many as 10,000 tests have been carried out in the municipality, which has around 45,000 inhabitants.