Is Stockholm about to ramp up coronavirus measures?

Is Stockholm about to ramp up coronavirus measures?
Coronavirus cases are increasing again in Stockholm. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT
New measures could be introduced in Stockholm after a renewed rise in coronavirus infections in the region, Swedish officials said on Tuesday.

Regional health chiefs in Stockholm said on Tuesday that new coronavirus infections were again increasing in the Swedish capital, after being on a downward curve since around mid-summer.

And state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told the Public Health Agency's press conference that local measures could potentially be introduced in the Stockholm region if necessary.

“We are having a discussion about maybe having to introduce further measures to stem the spread of infection in Stockholm,” he said, responding to a question from a reporter at Swedish public radio's news programme Ekot.

“We're still discussing exactly what, but in the coming days.”

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

Sweden has long been spared a large second wave of coronavirus infections as seen in many other countries in Europe, but the number of cases has been increasing in the past couple of weeks.

Cases are currently on the rise in most age groups, said Tegnell, particularly working-age people and senior high school students, which may be a result of more people returning to the workplace. Sweden's recommendations are still that everyone who is able to should work from home.

Sweden has been testing far more people than before in the past few weeks, which explains some of the increase, but not all. Last week a total of 139,446 coronavirus tests were carried out, of which 1.5 percent were positive – up from the week before when the share of positives was 1.2 percent.

In Stockholm, the share of positives increased to 2.2 percent last week, from 1.3 percent the week before. The number of new cases is still at a low level compared to the peak of the outbreak in spring, but regional health chief Björn Eriksson urged everyone to keep following Sweden's health and safety recommendations.

The Dalarna region is also reporting an increase in new infections, many of which are believed to be linked to local sports clubs and are the kind of cluster outbreaks that Swedish authorities have previously predicted. But local restrictions for Dalarna are not yet on the cards, said Tegnell.

“We are having a dialogue with Dalarna, but their assessment is that their current measures together with contact tracing and testing are enough to keep the situation under control,” he said.

A total of 89,436 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Sweden over the course of the pandemic, according to the latest data.


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.