Coronavirus LATEST — What you need to know about the outbreak in Sweden!

Here's how the coronavirus is developing in Sweden — We have chosen to make this article available for everyone. Due to the coronavirus crisis we rely more than ever on relevant and accurate information.

A total of 4,542 people have been confirmed as having died after testing positive for the coronavirus in Sweden, and there have been 40,803 confirmed cases. Since the start of the outbreak, 2,121 corona patients have been treated or are being treated in intensive care, according to the Public Health Agency’s new figures.

You may have noticed that the number of confirmed cases increased quite sharply today, from 38,589 yesterday. That’s because almost 1,400 of the new cases are not actually new cases, but have suddenly appeared in the statistics because a laboratory in Stockholm had reported its data late, said Tegnell. He said that they were all healthcare staff and that none of them had been very ill and none of them had died.

Tegnell also elaborated on comments he made in an interview with Swedish public radio about things that he and the rest of the team would have done differently in hindsight, clarifying that he did not mean that they would have drastically changed the strategy. “We still think that the strategy is good, but you can always make improvements, especially when looking back. I personally think it would be rather strange if anyone answered anything else to such a question. You can always do things better.”

As of June 3rd, 4,542 people have been confirmed as having died after testing positive for the coronavirus in Sweden. That’s an increase of 74 compared to the day before, but differences in how Sweden’s 21 regions report figures, and a delay over the weekend, mean that’s not the same as the total number who died over the past 24 hours.

Since the start of the outbreak, 2,121 corona patients have been in intensive care as of June 3rd, which also includes fatalities and patients who have recovered and been discharged.

There have been 40,803 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of June 3rd.

The Swedish government has announced that testing will be ramped up to reach 50,000-100,000 tests per week, with a focus on people in key roles such as police officers and emergency responders, although this goal had not been reached by mid-May as first stated. People who need to seek medical care will also be able to get tests in many cases even if they do not need treatment in hospital.

Everyone in Sweden is urged to stay at home if they are at all sick (even a mild cough or sore throat), practice social distancing, avoid non-essential travel within the country, work from home if possible, follow good hygiene practices, and avoid non-essential visits to elderly people or hospitals.

People aged over 70 or in risk groups are advised to avoid social contact as much as possible. These are Sweden’s official recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus.

At today’s press conference, the Public Health Agency’s Karin Tegmark Wisell, said that one of the figures that gives the clearest indication of the status of the outbreak is the number of people being treated in intensive care.

The number of people in Sweden’s intensive care units with coronavirus has increased slightly over the past seven days, she said, especially in Stockholm and Västra Götaland, but the total number is still significantly lower than it was during April. According to the Swedish Intensive Care Register, there were 308 people in ICUs with coronavirus on June 1st.

“If you look at the rolling seven-day average for intensive care admissions you see a fall in April and May, and then a stabilisation,” she explained.

Few of the people behind Sweden’s coronavirus strategy were well-known in wider society before the outbreak, but now these are the people speaking at the daily press conferences and in the media about the situation in Sweden. Many of them shape the policies designed to protect the Swedish population, and which we are all urged to follow. Here’s a look at each of their roles and experience.

Sweden analysed its largest number of coronavirus tests last week, according to new figures. But the total number of tests is still far below the government’s stated target.

You may just have heard a loud noise, sounding a bit like an elephant or a fog horn. It had nothing to do with the coronavirus, and there is no reason to be alarmed. Here’s an explanation in case you’re interested.

At today’s press conference, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell urged people to keep following the recommendations in place, and said the Public Health Agency was starting to look at long-term trends in the development of the outbreak in Sweden.

“It’s quite a varying picture. Some regions are falling [in numbers of cases], some are stable, and a few have begun to move upwards, but these are regions with very few inhabitants,” he said.

The graph below shared by the Public Health Agency at the press conference shows how the number of new reported cases are rising, falling or remaining steady in different parts of the country. It excludes cases among healthcare staff who are not receiving medical care, so gives a picture of the more serious cases requiring medical care.

Has the coronavirus changed your life in Sweden, and what should the country do to help its foreign residents cope with the fallout of the crisis?

As regular followers of this blog will know, Sweden updates its number of known coronavirus patients and fatalities (people who have tested positive) at 2pm every day. Yesterday was the first day when the country did not report any new coronavirus-linked deaths since March 13th.

However, as encouraging as that may sound, it is extremely unlikely that it means that no one died with the virus in the 24 hours leading up to that. The latest figures get reported to the Public Health Agency by Sweden’s 21 regions, and there is usually a reporting delay during the weekend – which is why, as in many other countries, the number appears to rise mid-week and fall on weekends.

Health officials keep urging people to follow the recommendations and maintain social distancing.

We have written a bit more about what Sweden’s decision to allow universities to reopen for the autumn semester means for students who are here on a residence permit, and need an extension. You can read the full article here, but the short version is that it depends on what your individual university decides to do.

One of the conditions for a student residence permit is that most of the teaching has to be done on campus, and some universities have already said they will continue digital teaching this autumn. At the time of writing it is not clear if many of them will stick with those plans or open up for on-campus teaching again.

The Migration Agency has said that as long as most of the teaching is done on campus it will be able to grant a permit extension, and that it will try to interpret the rules “generously” based on the current situation.

Sweden’s neighbours Denmark and Norway have agreed to open their borders to each other, but not to Sweden.

Sweden has chosen a different strategy in response to the coronavirus than its Nordic neighbours, with no lockdown. It has also seen higher rates of infection and higher death tolls than both Denmark and Norway, although infection rates vary significantly across the country.

A member of parliament for the Swedish border city of Malmö, told The Local he was “disappointed” by the decision and had hoped that the Nordics would “look more at a regional level.”

At today’s press conference, one of the key pieces of news was that the number of confirmed cases at elderly care homes has fallen over the past six weeks.

Residents and staff at elderly care homes are in the top priority group for coronavirus testing, and the Public Health Agency’s Head of the Department for Antibiotics and Infection Control Malin Grape said that increasing testing capacity and other measures had had positive results.

Sweden’s care homes have been hard hit by the coronavirus, with residents of such homes making up around half of all deaths linked to the virus, and the country’s healthcare watchdog has reported serious problems in one tenth of more than 1,000 homes it audited.

Sweden is set to reopen universities and schools for over-16s from June 15th. The decision was presented at a press conference with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Education Minister Anna Ekström, Higher Education Minister Matilda Ernkrans and Johan Carlson, general-director of the Public Health Agency, at 1pm.

This doesn’t mean that everyone will return to school or university in mid-June, because many students will then already have left for their summer break. And when education resumes in autumn, some form of distance teaching for adult education may still be needed in order to follow Sweden’s overall coronavirus restrictions, said the ministers. If there is a second wave of infection, that could also change the decision.

We were expecting a decision from the Public Health Agency today on the guidelines for domestic travel over summer, but newswire TT reports that it will now come at some point next week instead. You can read about the current guidelines here, which include guidance to avoid all non-essential travel of more than two hours by car.

When The Local spoke to state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell last week, he told us that the agency was looking into whether it would be possible to be “more lenient” on travel guidelines for the summer.

Elite sport will be able to restart from June 14th, but it will be much longer before spectators can attend games or matches. Players will be exempt from guidelines to avoid travel of more than two hours, but otherwise they must comply with the Public Health Agency guidelines, for example not participating when showing symptoms.

Sweden’s former state epidemiologist Annika Linde has told The Local that there is a need for more humility in discussions of the Swedish coronavirus strategy.

Although initially supportive of the choices made by her predecessors, Linde now believes moves like a temporary lockdown and quarantine of all returning travellers in the early stages of the outbreak could have saved lives. Read the full interview below:

Sweden’s former state epidemiologist reveals why she changed her view on controversial coronavirus strategy.

A total of 4,266 people have passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, since the start of the outbreak in Sweden. There have been 35,727 confirmed cases of the virus and 2,032 corona patients have been treated or are being treated in intensive care, which also includes fatalities and recoveries.

There are currently 335 coronavirus patients in intensive care units across Sweden, a number that is currently falling. However, in the Gothenburg region, as The Local reported yesterday (scroll down to May 27th to read), they have seen a slight uptick in the number of intensive care patients in the past couple of weeks.

The Italian embassy in Stockholm has criticised state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell after comments in which he said the Swedish healthcare system “should have done better than Italy” in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweden’s healthcare watchdog has reported “serious failures” in one tenth of more than 1,000 elderly care homes it has looked into as part of a major probe into the coronavirus response.

As well as the investigation into elderly care homes, IVO has received 3,000 complaints of risks within the health and care sector as a whole since the start of March.

More than a third (37 percent) were directly related to the coronavirus, and around 40 percent were reports of risks judged to be “serious”, but that proportion rose to 54 percent within the elderly care sector.

Swedish healthcare watchdog reports ‘serious problems’ in one in ten care homes.

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