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Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Friday
Signs reminding people of measures to take to limit the spread of the virus on a Gothenburg tram. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Almost all of Sweden now has stricter coronavirus measures

Sweden's Public Health Agency rolled out local coronavirus recommendations to four new regions yesterday (Dalarna, Gotland, Värmland and Västmanland), so that 17 of the country's 21 regions are subject to the new recommendations, which vary slightly between regions. Lower population density in the regions not yet included means these measures apply to the vast majority of the population.

Swedish vocabulary: population – befolkning


Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

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Sweden in a 'second wave', Anders Tegnell confirms

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell acknowledged for the first time in Thursday's press conference that the country was seeing a “second wave” of the virus. He also said that the current situation with a spread in many regions simultaneously was “different from what we had in spring when it was more local”.

Most of the new cases came from infection at private parties or the workplace, authorities said at the press conference, once again urging employers to ensure staff work from home if possible, and individuals to avoid gatherings that go against the country's recommendations.

As for which measures we can expect in future, Tegnell said that it may be necessary to introduce travel restrictions around Christmas which would apply to the whole country. This would depend on how the situation develops but could be necessary to support small regions that typically receive large numbers of visitors, he said.

Swedish vocabulary: second wave – andra våg

Virus particles found in hospital ventilation

At Uppsala's University Hospital, coronavirus particles been found in the ventilation system according to a study in the journal Scientific Report, cited by Vetenskapsradion. The particles were found dozens of metres from the areas where Covid-19 patients were being cared for. Although it's not possible to show whether the particles can spread the infection, it suggests airborne infection may play a bigger role than thought, the researchers said. 

When The Local asked about the Swedish Public Health Agency's stance on airborne infection earlier in November, Tegnell said: “”There has been a lot of discussion on airborne or droplet transmission. I think, to me and the agency, that's not really important. We do realise that both kinds of spread can occur, droplet is by far the most important one. We believe that the most important thing now is to be able to localise which is the environment where we see spread, and we need to avoid those environments and places.”

Swedish vocabulary: airborne transmission – luftburen smitta


Photo: Fredrik Persson / TT

Healthcare service 1177 under high pressure

The 1177 service, which is the first port of call for people in Sweden seeking healthcare guidance, has gone into crisis mode after the number of calls received reach the same level as in late March.

Although not a scientific measure, the number of people contacting 1177 gives some indication of the level of infection of the country, particularly since the majority of coronavirus cases are too mild to require hospital care and Sweden's test capacity is currently struggling.

“The pressure on all 1177's channels is largely at the same level as in spring, or higher,” Sofie Zetterström, who works on the technical side of 1177, told the TT newswire. “This shows that many people or sick and worried. It's a clear difference from the summer.” Going into the so-called crisis mode allows the organisation to make quicker decisions about for example reallocating resources.

Swedish vocabulary: crisis mode – krisläge


Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

Record demand for flu vaccine

Just a week after the 2020 flu vaccine began being rolled out in Sweden, there are already shortages in several regions due a huge increase in demand, Dagens Medicin reports.

Sweden's regions have made a joint additional order, so more vaccine doses will arrive in Sweden and be distributed among the regions in the coming weeks.

Swedish vocabulary: demand – efterfrågan


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