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Nursing home cases drive Sweden’s COVID-19 deaths over 10,000-mark 

By Sheji Halima [NAN

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Sweden has recorded more than 10,000 COVID-19-related fatalities, the Public Health Agency said on Thursday.

The reason for many of the deaths in the country of 10.3 million was that the novel Coronavirus has entered nursing homes, said Karin Tegmark Wiseel, head of the agency’s microbiology department.

“Unfortunately, we expect that the number of deaths will continue to rise due to the extensive infection rates in the country,’’ she said.

Sweden, a country of 10.3 million, has now registered a total caseload of 518,000 infections and 10,185 virus-related deaths.

“We have 687 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and it looks like we have reached a kind of plateau,’’ Tegmark Wisell said.

Across the country, around 60 per cent of intensive care patients are now COVID-19 patients, pushing the country’s health system toward its limits.

Earlier, the government said a ban on night-time alcohol sales was extended until Jan. 24, citing the continued high level of infections.

On Sunday, a bill that would temporarily enhance the government’s powers to tackle the pandemic entered into force.

It gives the government the right to order the closure of shopping malls, public transport, gyms, cultural venues and parks, or limit the number of people allowed to enter them.

Sweden has attracted international attention for taking a much more relaxed approach to managing the pandemic, especially early on, compared to its European neighbour’s. (dpa/NAN)

 


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