Covid-19 cases breach 300,000 mark in Sweden

Covid-19 infections in Sweden topped 300,000 mark after another 7,061 cases were added, according to the data from the Public Health Agency.

The total cases in the Nordic country now stand at 304,793, with 7,296 fatalities, the data showed.

Currently, there are 261 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) — 83 of them in Stockholm, nearing the full capacity of the capital’s Covid-19 ICUs for the first time since the pandemic broke out, according to the city’s health and medical care director Bjorn Eriksson.

During a Wednesday news conference, Eriksson said that he had asked the National Board of Health and Welfare to send specialist nurses and nursing assistants from other regions to the capital to assist overworked health-care personnel, Xinhua reported.

“What we thought was a plateau and possibly the start of a downturn has been replaced by the precise opposite,” Eriksson said. “This was precisely the development we did not want to see.”

Also on Wednesday, the Swedish government said it wants to introduce a temporary pandemic law which would give it increased powers to curb the spread of an infectious disease such as Covid-19.

Currently, politicians’ capacity to do so is limited by the Public Order Act, under which the government does not have the power to close down public transport, shopping centres or gyms for instance. However, it can enforce stricter rules on culture and sports venues, which are currently covered by the eight-person limit for public events.