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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
A busy street in Malmö during the warm weather, as authorities warned of a sharp rise in Covid-19 hospitalisations and need to meet fewer people. Photo: Johan Nilsson/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.

What’s the latest on Covid-19 from Sweden’s authorities?

Sweden reported 684 new cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks, an incidence rate that has risen from 604 this time last week. A rise in Covid-19 patients requiring hospital care primarily affected those in the 30-69 age group. 

At the Public Health Agency’s bi-weekly press conference, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said that his agency was currently coordinating with Sweden’s regional governments to identify organisations within civil society which could be used to reach the public in new ways, after warning of a drop in compliance with regulations.

He said that what most worried him were reports that more and more people were returning to work in their offices and that people seemed to be socialising with wider groups of people.

In Västra Götaland, the region has issued stricter recommendations for the Easter period: “Avoid all contact with people you do not live with.” This is a slight step above the national recommendations to limit contact to a “small circle”, which authorities have defined variously as “the people you normally meet” or “the people you live with or, if you live alone, a few friends”.

Swedish vocabulary: compliance/adherence – följsamhet

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Record number of incidents of deadly violence last year 

Sweden’s National Council on Crime Prevention (Brå) reported the highest number of incidents of deadly violence in 2020 since it first started its tracking 20 years ago.

In total there were 124 such incidents, up by 13 on the previous year. That’s 1.2 incidents per 100,000 residents, the second highest figure in 20 years (2007 was the highest at 1.21 per 100,000). A total of 39 percent of all cases were gun violence, and Stockholm was behind a significant part of the increase, reporting 11 more cases than in 2019.

Most of the victims (99 out of 124) were men, with the incidents often linked to gang crime. Of the remaining 25 women, the violence was most often carried out by a partner.

Swedish vocabulary: deadly violence – dödligt våld

Sweden’s three-step plan for re-opening

Sweden’s Public Health Agency has submitted its proposals to the government on how the country should start to lift restrictions and recommendations the coronavirus situation allows, based on a three-step plan. We’ve looked into the details here.

But this won’t be happening for a while, until there has been a marked drop in the spread of infection.  Also yesterday, the Public Health Agency asked the government to delay a planned change which would allow theme parks to reopen and theatres to seat up to 50 people, saying this would send the wrong message.

Swedish vocabulary: to reopen – återöppna

Positive results from Sweden’s vaccination programme

Of the more than 400,000 people in Sweden who are so far fully vaccinated against the virus, just 200 cases of Covid-19 have been reported since vaccination (0.06 percent of that group), Public Health Agency data shows.

Swedish vocabulary: fully vaccinated – färdigvaccinerad

Prime Minister responds to Liberal Party vote

Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has spoken about a Liberal Party vote over the weekend, where the party — which currently collaborates with Löfven’s government on several policy issues — agreed to aim for a right-wing government in the next election, even if it means relying on support from the far-right Sweden Democrats.

“It surprises me that such parties can jump into collaboration with an anti-democratic party. I simply don’t understand it,” he told Dagens Nyheter.

De facto opposition leader Ulf Kristersson, whose Moderate Party has long been open to accepting Sweden Democrat support, called Löfven “desperate”.

“This kind of political discussion, which doesn’t relate at all to the issues that need to be solved or how they will be solved but instead is about smearing each other and calling political opponents undemocratic, is dangerous, I think,” said Kristersson.

Swedish vocabulary: democratic – demokratisk

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