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NORWAY

Swedish base-jumper dies in Norway

A Swedish man died on Friday after base-jumping from a mountain in Norway, although the exact circumstances of the incident remain unclear.

The man, who is believed to be Swedish according to Norwegian media, died after base-jumping from the Kjerag mountain east of Stavanger in southern Norway.

“The jumper was a Swedish man in his forties,” explained Stein Edvartsen, head of Stavanger Base Club, to the national Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

“He has been jumping for a couple of years and jumped from Kjerag last year too, so he was familiar with the area.”

Police however, were unwilling to divulge any information other than that the body was not officially identified.

“A driver’s license has been found,” said Geir Gjesdal of the local police in Rogaland to the TT news agency.

It remains unknown exactly how the man died, although the base jump camp spokesperson has his suspicions.

“Weather conditions were fine today, so most likely it is the equipment that has failed,” Edvartsen told the paper, adding that there were some 15-20 jumpers on the mountain at the time.

Helicopters and an alpine rescue team recovered the man’s body, which was taken to the Stavanger University hospital in the early afternoon.

The formal identification and autopsy will be done next week.

Base jumping is an activity where participants jump from a great height from a fixed object, such as a cliff, building, or bridge, and use a parachute to break their fall.

TT/The Local/og

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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