Swedish Prime Minister self-isolates after potential Covid-19 exposure

Swedish Prime Minister self-isolates after potential Covid-19 exposure
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is self-isolating after a person close to him came into contact with another individual with confirmed Covid-19, he said on Thursday.

The person Löfven had come into contact with has tested negative, but the Social Democrat leader said he and his wife Ulla were isolating on medical advice, as a precaution.

“We are well and have no symptoms. In accordance with healthcare recommendations we will get a corona test as soon as it is possible,” wrote Löfven on Facebook, adding he had found out yesterday afternoon.

He said he would carry on working, but remotely, for now.

A total of 137,730 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Sweden to date, according to the latest available data, and the figure has been on a steep increase since mid-October, after beginning to climb in mid-September.

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Löfven urged everyone to follow recommendations to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“As I always say, they are not general tips but they are what should be done. Take note of the advice. Listen to it. Follow it. Stay at home if you are the least bit ill. Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Work from home – if you can. Look after each other,” he wrote.

The recommendations vary depending on where in Sweden you live, but common factors include avoiding close contact with people outside of your household, avoiding public transport, and working from home if you can.

These recommendations are not generally legally binding, so there are no fines for violating them, but are not considered optional. Britte Bråstad, chief legal officer for the Public Health Agency, described the measures – allmänna råd or 'general recommendations' – as “something in between regulations and recommendations” in an interview with The Local in October. “You could say it's a 'strong recommendation',” she said at the time.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, should always stay at home.


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