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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Police are investigating a shooting in north-western Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven criticised over pre-Christmas shopping centre visit

Löfven visited the Gallerian mall together with his bodyguards on December 20th, two days after he urged each and everyone in Sweden to avoid crowded places and do their part to help curb the spread of coronavirus, reported the Expressen newspaper. He had also visited the mall on other occasions in December, reported Expressen.

The Prime Minister's spokesperson said his visits had been carefully planned and he had followed the recommendations of the Public Health Agency to avoid crowded places. The spokesperson said that Löfven's errands to shops in December had included: getting his watch mended, looking for spare parts for his razor, food shopping, a visit to Sweden's alcohol chain Systembolaget and buying a Christmas present for his wife.

Löfven is not the only politician who has come under fire over the coronavirus guidelines this year. The Local has covered the latest stories here.

Swedish vocabulary: watch – klocka

Three people shot in Stockholm suburb

Police were called out to Tensta in north-western Stockholm on Tuesday evening, where two people were found with gunshot wounds in central parts of the suburb, and an hour later another person was found, also with gunshot wounds, in an apartment in Tensta.

The three people are men in their 20s. Police have declined to comment whether or not the three are linked, reports the TT news agency. Early on Wednesday morning police confirmed that one of the three people had died from his injuries.

Swedish vocabulary: injuries – skador

Skåne activates crisis plan over corona outbreak

Southern Swedish region Skåne on Tuesday evening activated a crisis contract which means that intensive care staff can have their weekly hours extended from 40 to 48.

Skåne's rolling seven-day average of new people who test positive for Covid-19 currently stands at more than 1,200 per day according to the region's latest figures. More than 500 patients are in hospital and 55 are being treated in intensive care.

Swedish vocabulary: hospital – sjukhus

Next step for coronavirus vaccinations announced

The second phase of Sweden's coronavirus vaccinations is expected to get started in February. Phase one – vaccinations of care home residents, elderly people who receive home care, their carers and adults who live with them – is already under way.

In the second phase, vaccinations will be extended to: Other people aged 70 and older (prioritised by age), people over 18 who receive assistance for certain disabilities, and other care workers and healthcare workers who have close contact with patients.

The third and fourth phases, which have not yet been fully worked out, will include other adults who are part of risk groups, and then the rest of the adult population.

Swedish vocabulary: February – februari

EU health warning: 'High' risk new coronavirus strains will lead to more deaths

The EU's health agency has warned of a 'high' risk that newly discovered coronavirus variants could increase the strain on healthcare and ultimately cause more deaths due to their infectious nature.

The Stockholm-based European Centre Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a report that “although there is no information that infections with these strains are more severe”, the fact that they would spread more easily means that the impact on “hospitalisations and deaths is assessed as high”.

Just like previously circulating virus variants, this was particularly true for “those in older age groups or with co-morbidities”, the agency added.

The report specifically addressed the two new variants discovered in the UK and in South Africa, both of which show signs of “increased transmissibility”.

One case of the UK variant has been confirmed in Sweden so far.

Swedish vocabulary: infectious – smittsam

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