Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
People enjoying the rides at the Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm this week. Photo: Erik Simander/TT
Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Swedish Migration Courts cut processing times

Sweden’s four Migration Courts estimate they will be able to process cases within six months next year. Fewer asylum cases as a result of the border restrictions during the pandemic, and more staff at the courts, have helped the courts work through a huge backlog of cases, reports public radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio’s programme Ekot.

It will be the first time since 2016 that processing times at the Migration Courts reaches six months, and can be compared to the average time in 2019 which was 21 months. According to the Migration Courts’ directives, 90 percent of asylum cases should be processed within four months and 90 percent of other migration cases within five months.

The courts expect the number of cases to again increase at the end of next year, as borders reopen and Sweden’s new migration law leads to a surge in appeals.

Swedish vocabulary: court – domstol

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Covid-19 patients in intensive care increase in Sweden

After falling to 15 on Wednesday last week, the number of Covid-19 patients receiving intensive care in Sweden has again been on the increase, reaching 26 on Wednesday (the figure for last week ranged between 15 and 23, with a daily average of 18 patients).

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Swedish news agency TT that he thought it was “coincidence rather than anything else”, with the numbers still relatively small.

During the three peaks of the pandemic in Sweden, the number of people in intensive care has regularly topped 300, but many regions are again showing an uptick in cases, sparking concern of a fourth wave. In the week starting July 19th, 2,637 new cases of infections were confirmed, an increase of 42 percent compared to the previous week.

Swedish vocabulary: coincidence – slump

Sweden’s tallest tree dies

The Mölnbacka Spruce, a 49.6 metre tall tree around 20 kilometres north of Karlstad in central Sweden, has been defeated by the European spruce bark beetle, reports public broadcaster SVT. That means the tallest living tree in Sweden has died.

The search is now on for Sweden’s next tallest tree, with many potential contenders in the same area, including a 41 metre pine and a 33 metre alder tree.

Swedish vocabulary: spruce – gran

Third Covid-19 vaccine dose likely in Sweden from next year

A large proportion of Sweden’s population will likely be offered a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot in 2022, the Public Health Agency has said.

And for people in risk groups, the third jab may be offered before the end of this year. That would primarily include residents of care homes for the elderly, other over-80s, and people with severely reduced immune systems.

The details of the roll-out of a third dose depend on several criteria including “possible new virus variants and on what research will show about the protective effect of vaccines over time”, the Public Health Agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

Swedish vocabulary: population – befolkning

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