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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
Sweden is calling on more people to give blood. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

More people working from home in Sweden

More people than at any point since the start of the pandemic worked from home in Stockholm and Skåne in the week of January 11th-17th, reports the TT news agency, citing anonymised movement tracking data compiled by telecoms giant Telia. The data tracks how people travel and does not necessarily correspond exactly to how many people are at work or not, but it gives an indication as to people's movements.

In Stockholm, the number of people travelling to the office dropped by 34 percent compared to the first full week of March, before the pandemic started affecting Swedish behaviour, and in Skåne the same decrease was 32 percent. The national average was also a drop of 32 percent (which is the same as April 6th-12th, the lowest level in 2020).

In Västra Götaland, Sweden's other big city region (Gothenburg), the only week during which more people worked from home than last week was the week of April 6th-12th.

Swedish vocabulary: work from home – jobba/arbeta hemifrån

A man working from home in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Call for donors amid blood shortage in Sweden

A blood bank in Uppsala has warned that their stocks of blood are at “alarmingly low levels”, speaking to the Vårdfokus medical news site. The pandemic has caused many donors to stay at home out of concern of catching or spreading the coronavirus, and this has resulted in a serious shortage of blood, not just in Uppsala, but in all of Sweden.

English-speakers can give blood in Stockholm (read more here), but in most parts of Sweden it is only possible to give blood if the donor has sufficient knowledge of the Swedish language. It is up to the nurse to assess the donor's level of understanding.

Swedish vocabulary: give blood – ge blod

A 'cautious downturn' but still significant spread as Sweden passes 146,000 Covid-19 vaccinations

Sweden has now vaccinated more than one percent of the population, while the 14-day rate of newly reported coronavirus cases is 616 per 100,000 residents.

“There were no drastic increases [in reported cases of coronavirus] over the Christmas holidays,” said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell at Tuesday's update from the authorities, where he said the country was seeing signs of a “cautious downturn” despite continued high figures.

Decreased testing capacity over Christmas has meant it's been difficult to assess the true state of the pandemic in Sweden, with a greater than usual delay in reporting of deaths. But the number of admissions to intensive care and reported deaths suggest that the peak of the country's second wave happened slightly before Christmas.

The 14-day case notification rate of 509 newly reported cases per 100,000 residents in Jämtland and 459 in Dalarna showed that the holiday didn't lead to a spike in cases in these winter resort locations, Tegnell said.

These figures are still high however; the ECDC's latest data (from last Thursday) shows 14-day rates of 324 in Germany, 379 in Italy, and 506 in Denmark, for example.

Click HERE to read more.

Swedish vocabulary: cautious downturn – försiktig nedgång

What's in store for Sweden's coronavirus measures expiring this week?

Several of Sweden's coronavirus measures and laws will expire at the end of the week, unless they are extended.

We are likely to find out on Thursday whether or not Sweden's upper secondary schools (gymnasieskolor, usually for children aged 16-18) will continue distance learning.

The ban on post-8pm alcohol sales in bars and restaurants is expected to be extended until February 7th, but the government will make a firm decision later in the week.

The Local takes a closer look at the measures in question and what's most likely to happen with them in this article.

Swedish vocabulary: decision – beslut

Swedish housing prices increase in 2021

Sweden's property market has got off to a hot start this year, with prices rising in Stockholm and Gothenburg. Stockholm apartments (bostadsrätter) saw a price increase of 2.3 percent in the first half of January – compared to December – and Gothenburg 0.6 percent, according to Valueguard's Hox-index, reported by the TT news agency.

Nationwide, the price of apartments fell 0.3 percent, but detached homes rose 1.7 percent. The increase does follow a relatively slow month of December, however.

Swedish vocabulary: detached house – villa

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