Sweden's capital Stockholm hit by 100% spike in Covid-19 cases in just 3 weeks

With the current infection rates, the capital area has seen a “small” increase in the number of people “so seriously ill that they are in need of hospital care,” Johan Bratt, the acting health and medical care director for the Stockholm region, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bloomberg |
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 01:26 PM IST
Asa Wernsten works at the sampling station for the coronavirus (Covid-19) test at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, for travellers who arrive with international flights on February 22, 2021. - Sweden in January adopted a pandemic law giving the government new powers to curb the spread of the virus. The country has never imposed the type of lockdown seen elsewhere in Europe, controversially relying on mostly non-coercive measures. It has however gradually tightened measures since November. (Photo by Claudio BRESCIANI / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT(AFP)

In Sweden’s capital, the rate of coronavirus infections just doubled over the past three weeks, making a third wave seem almost inevitable.

The surge in new cases follows a warning from the government of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that Sweden might need to enforce legislation enacted earlier this year, allowing the authorities to impose what would be the country’s first lockdown since the pandemic erupted roughly a year ago.

With the current infection rates, the capital area has seen a “small” increase in the number of people “so seriously ill that they are in need of hospital care,” Johan Bratt, the acting health and medical care director for the Stockholm region, said in a statement on Wednesday.

There were 6,336 new cases of Covid registered in the capital last week, compared with 3,225 reported for the week beginning Feb. 1, according to data compiled by the region.

The uptick follows a gloomy prognosis by state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who told reporters on Tuesday that a third wave now seems impossible to avoid.

“To expect a scenario in which we don’t have any increase at all in the spring is all but ruled out by now,” Tegnell said.

But the country of 10.4 million people, which drew international attention for its laissez-faire approach at the outset the pandemic, is still cautious about resorting to a full lockdown.

“We still believe in finding the places where we can impose more targeted measures instead,” Tegnell said.

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