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

Find out what's going on in Sweden today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Sweden: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Fredrik Malmerfeldt, head of healthcare at the Swedish Armed Forces' Visby garrison on the island of Gotland, and Monica Eneholm, an Armed Forces doctor. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

Swedish public sector crying out for IT talent

The Swedish public sector reports that it is getting more and more difficult to find staff to fill a skills gap, reports Publikt, a magazine published by the ST trade union.

In autumn 2021, 68 percent of state sector employees told the Swedish Agency for Government Employers’ survey that they had a shortage of suitable applicants. That’s up from 44 percent the year before, writes Publikt, and a return to pre-pandemic levels.

Digital skills are sorely needed. As many as 39 percent of employers said they had a shortage of system developers and system administrators, and 27 percent reported a shortage of IT staff in areas such as operation, maintenance and support.

Swedish vocabulary: a system developer – en systemutvecklare

Swedish hospital files report to watchdog after woman and baby die

The University Hospital in Linköping has reported itself to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate after a woman died while giving birth to her third baby, who also died.

In a statement, it said the woman had “another complicating illness” and during the last part of the delivery the child died. The medical team then attributed the woman’s own symptoms as sorrow over losing her baby, but later discovered serious internal bleeding.

“She underwent surgery and extensive attempts to stabilise the circulation, but her life could not be saved and she died,” said the hospital in the statement.

Swedish vocabulary: Health and Social Care Inspectorate – Inspektionen för vård och omsorg (IVO)

Omicron outbreak among Gotland troops

The Swedish Armed Forces have reported a “so far fairly small outbreak” among soldiers stationed on the island of Gotland.

Fredrik Marmerfeldt, head of healthcare at the Visby garrison on Gotland, told the TT news agency that they would be doing their own testing so as not to put too much pressure on the local healthcare system, and to get results faster.

Gotland is, like many other regions in Sweden, struggling to cope with an increased demand on testing. TT reports that the Baltic Sea island last week confirmed 1,001 new cases which is a significantly higher figure than before – it has had around 7,000 confirmed cases in total during the pandemic.

Swedish vocabulary: an outbreak – ett utbrott

Sweden scraps negative Covid test for foreigners from some countries

Less than four weeks after it was introduced, Sweden will later this week scrap the Covid test requirement for foreign visitors from some countries, as The Local reported on Tuesday.

Since December 28th, foreign citizens (with some exceptions, such as residents of Sweden or people travelling for urgent family reasons) have had to show a negative test to be allowed into the country, regardless of country of departure or vaccination status. But the entry rules that applied prior to this will be brought back on Friday, meaning Covid vaccine passes will again be used.

Swedish vocabulary: four weeks – fyra veckor

Member comments

  1. Keywords: Payment and Talent Immigration. How long has it been since sweden changed rules for the latter? Told ya.

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

Biden backs Sweden in Nato, first case of monkeypox and labour market heating up. Here's Friday's news.

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

Sweden registers first confirmed case of monkeypox

One person in Sweden has a confirmed case of monkeypox, health authorities said on Thursday following similar cases in Europe and North America.

The rare disease usually manifests itself through fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash on the hands and face.

“One person in the Stockholm region has been confirmed to be infected with monkey pox,” Sweden’s Public Health Agency said in a statement.

The infected person “is not seriously ill, but has been given care,” according to the agency.

“We still don’t know where the person was infected. An investigation is currently underway,” Klara Sonden, an infectious disease doctor and investigator at the agency, said in a statement.

The health authority is now “investigating with the regional infection control centres whether there are more cases in Sweden,” it said.

On Wednesday, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the United States all reported having cases of confirmed or suspected monkeypox.

Authorities have generally been reassuring, with Spanish and Portuguese officials stressing that the disease is not very contagious between humans.

Swedish vocabulary: apkoppor – monkeypox

Biden gives ‘full, total, complete backing’ for Swedish Nato bid

US President Joe Biden on Thursday strongly backed Finland and Sweden’s bid to join Nato in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the Nordic nations’ leaders promised to address concerns raised by Turkey.

With the red-carpet pomp of a White House visit, Biden welcomed Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto days after they formally announced their Nato aspirations and said he was submitting their applications to the US Congress, where there is bipartisan support for ratification.

“The bottom line is simple. Quite straightforward: Finland and Sweden make Nato stronger,” Biden said, offering the “full, total, complete backing of the United States of America.”

“Sweden and Finland have strong democratic institutions, strong militaries and strong and transparent economies, and a strong moral sense of what is right,” Biden said with the two leaders at his side in the White House Rose Garden.

“They meet every Nato requirement, and then some,” Biden told assembled reporters without taking any questions.

Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate who frequently fights Biden’s agenda, said he would seek quick action on the bids by Sweden and Finland. He noted that Finland already commits two percent of its GDP to defence and that Sweden “is on pace to reach that target very soon” — a threshold backed by Nato and long pushed by Washington.

“These nations are setting an example which current treaty allies would do well to follow,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “So I’ll be proud to continue amplifying their case for accession however I can.”

Swedish vocabulary: backar – to back

Labour market set to heat up over summer

According to new figures, this summer’s job market looks to be heating up.

Employers’ demand for staff has reached the highest summer levels ever, according to staffing company Manpowers’ quarterly measurements which started the measurements 19 years ago.

The employment index is standing at +25 before the third quarter and is based on 765 interviews with Swedish employers. Although lower than last quarter’s figure of +37, this is still the highest reported figure for a summer period.

The index shows the amount of employers planning to hire over the summer, minus those who are not.

“The high demand for staff is continuing despite high inflation and war close by,” Mikael Hansson, the staffing company’s Swedish boss wrote in a press statement.

The measurement was carried out between April 1st-29th, which means that factors such as the war in Ukraine and increased inflation are included in the figures, Manpower states.

All Swedish regions gave positive prognoses in all branches, but central Sweden showed a sharp decrease in the employment prognosis compared to the previous quarter. Stockholm and the Uppsala region and southern Sweden reported the strongest figures.

Swedish vocabulary: sysselsättning – employment