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

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 Monday
The Malmö sunset on Sunday evening. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish organisation calls for clearer Covid rules for pregnant staff

Sweden’s umbrella organisation for local authorities, SKR, has asked the Swedish Work Environment Authority, National Board of Health and Welfare, and the Public Health Agency to clarify the rules for pregnant employees and Covid-19 in the workplace.

The National Board of Health and Welfare recommends that people should not be exposed to coronavirus from week 20 of pregnancy, because the infection increases the risk of premature birth. If the nature of the employee’s work can’t be changed to accommodate this, the employer should prevent them from working and they can instead get pregnancy benefits paid out by the Social Insurance Agency.

But SKR argues that it is hard for employers to assess the risks, and calls for clearer guidelines so that they are more uniform across the board, reports Swedish radio.

Swedish vocabulary: pregnant – gravid

Outrage in Sweden after five women killed by men in three weeks

Five women have been killed by men in Sweden in the past three weeks, sparking a debate about partner or ex-partner violence in the country known for its gender equality.

“We have a Vision Zero,” national police chief Anders Thornberg told the TT news agency, after a woman was killed in broad daylight in the city of Linköping, by a man she had had a previous relationship with according to police and prosecutor.

Thornberg said that two years ago, the police authority earmarked 350 million kronor ($41.3 million) to appoint experts to investigate men’s violence against women, but that society at large also needed to step up. “When we call to a press conference on this topic, it’s pretty empty. When we call to a press conference on gang crime, it’s a full house,” he said.

Twenty-five women and 99 men were killed in 2020, according to the National Council for Crime Prevention, and 13 women and four men were killed by a partner or former partner.

Swedish vocabulary: violence – våld

‘Close to catastrophe’: How Covid-19 is affecting other healthcare in Sweden

Several regions in Sweden have been forced to postpone planned healthcare while one in three currently have a “crisis deal” in place meaning up to 12-hour shifts for ICU staff as the pandemic once again puts severe pressure on hospitals and their workers.

The National Board of Health and Welfare said last week that nationwide there were 386 Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care wards, the same level as the peak of the second wave. At the same time, higher pressure on intensive care wards from people with other illnesses means that the total number of patients in ICUs is close to the level during spring 2020.

“There is more pressure on the healthcare sector now than there has been at any point [of the pandemic],” said Fredrik Sund, head of the infection clinic at Uppsala University Hospital. “If this continues, there are not many more resources left,” he told Sweden’s public radio broadcaster. “We are beginning to come close to catastrophe.”

Swedish vocabulary: catastrophe – katastrof

Brits in Sweden told to ‘apply early’ for post-Brexit status to avoid long waits

The Swedish Migration Agency has warned Brits not to leave it right until the deadline to apply for their post-Brexit residence status in Sweden, or they may face long queues.

Almost five months after applications opened, only 7,500 out of the 20,000 Brits expected to need the new status have applied, according to the Migration Agency.

“In order to avoid long processing times towards the end of the application period, it would be good if as many people as possible already now consider their possibilities of applying early. For anyone who needs residence status for a special occasion, such as when applying for studies, it’s also important not to wait too long to apply,” the Migration Agency’s Brexit coordinator Ann-Charlotte Westerfjärd said in a statement.

Around 4,200 Brits have so far been granted residence status in Sweden and 90 have been rejected. The average processing time is currently 58 days.

Swedish vocabulary: residence status – uppehållsstatus

Sweden marks hottest day of the year

Markaryd in south-eastern Swedish region Småland topped the temperature league table yesterday, with 20.2C, the highest temperature recorded so far this year in Sweden.

The mini-heatwave is considered normal for this time of the year, according to national weather agency SMHI, but temperatures are expected to drop later this week.

An SMHI meteorologist even warned the TT news agency that wet snow may even fall in some areas of southern Sweden on Thursday and Friday.

Swedish vocabulary: wet snow – blötsnö

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