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

Today in Sweden: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has received his first Covid-19 jab. Photo: Fredrik Ståhl/Regeringskansliet
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Help track the arrival of spring in Sweden

People in Sweden are urged to report signs of spring to the Vårkollen (spring check) database this coming weekend. It’s a project run by volunteers and researchers from the Swedish Botanical Association and the Swedish Phenology Network.

It collects signs of the arrival of spring, such as coltsfoot, white anemones and birch leaves, to help researchers track how climate change affects the seasons.

Swedish vocabulary: white anemones – vitsippor

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Sweden confirms first cases of coronavirus variant first found in India

Four cases of a variant of coronavirus first discovered in India have been confirmed in the Stockholm area. No other cases of this variant are currently known in Sweden.

“We’ll have to hope that we isolate the cases fairly quickly. The British variant has taken over in the region and all of Sweden, but we have a number of cases of the South African and Brazilian variants but they haven’t in any way taken over. So we’ll have to hope that this one can be managed in the same way,” Stockholm’s regional infectious disease doctor Maria Rotzén Östlund told Swedish news agency TT.

The variant, B.1.617, was first detected in India in October.

Swedish vocabulary: India – Indien

Swedish Prime Minister gets his first Covid-19 jab

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The Social Democrat leader, who turns 64 in July, is part of Phase 3 of vaccinations which got under way in Stockholm around a week ago.

Löfven received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at his local doctor’s clinic at 3.30pm on Tuesday. “I’m happy regardless of which vaccine I get, I think you should take whatever vaccine the healthcare sector offers,” he told journalists after the vaccination.

Sweden’s EU Minister Hans Dahlgren, who is born 1948, was the first cabinet minister to get vaccinated on April 8th, as the oldest member of the Swedish government.

Swedish vocabulary: jab – spruta

Sweden’s central bank keeps interest rate steady at zero percent

Sweden’s central bank has predicted that its interest rate, which has not edged above a historic zero for over six years, will remain unchanged for three more years.

“Despite the spread of the coronavirus having increased again, the Swedish economy has developed relatively well, supported by extensive economic policy measures,” said the central bank, the Riksbank, in its latest monetary policy report on Tuesday.

“The economic outlook is slightly brighter now than it was in February, but the pandemic is not over, and inflationary pressures remain low. Monetary policy needs to remain expansionary to support the economy and for inflation to be close to the target of two percent more permanently,” it added.

Swedish vocabulary: interest rate – ränta

Man found dead in southern Stockholm

A man has been found dead with gunshot wounds in the Bagarmossen suburb in southern Stockholm. Police were called to the scene shortly after 2.30am after residents heard loud bangs from the area, described as either a shooting or loud bangers.

Police are investigating murder or manslaughter.

Swedish vocabulary: gunshot wounds – skottskador

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