Sweden says COVID cases rising again

Henrietta Strickland
September 24, 2020

It came just hours after the city's top health official warned the region has seen a surge in cases.

The news has prompted concerns over whether Sweden has achieve "herd immunity" or not.

Sweden's strategy of emphasizing personal responsibility rather than major lockdowns to slow the virus has drawn heavy criticism with the number of deaths soaring in the spring.

Sweden's recent rise in cases could not be exclusively pinned on increased testing, the Public Health Agency said on Tuesday.

"Stockholm has seen a clear increase recently, across all age groups", Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who has headed the country's response, told reporters on Tuesday.

"It hasn't affected the healthcare [sector] - yet". The number of new cases at ICU is very low and the number of deaths are very low'. As no final decisions have been taken, Dr Tegnell refused to be drawn on what the measures might be.

"We have a discussion with Stockholm about whether we need to introduce measures to reduce the spread of infection", he said.

The country of 10 million has seen nearly 90,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Asked by Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall how more active older people would be protected, he said they need to be more careful. The antibodies - along with the T cells - provide long-term protection, or immunity, against disease. If nobody is immune to an illness - as was the case at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak - it can spread like wildfire. As more people become immune, the insect finds it hard to spread until the group of its victims is so small that it can not spread at all.

The threshold for herd immunity is different for various illnesses, depending on contagion.

But Stockholm health chief Björn Eriksson has warned that the long decline in infections had halted, reports The Telegraph.

"The downwards trend is broken", he said at a press conference.

'We can only hope that this is a blip, that the spread start decreasing again.

"We have not changed anything for the six months whereas other countries are going in and out of lockdown", he said.

Sweden's death rate of 580 fatalities per million people is just behind those of the United Kingdom and Italy, and is more than 10 times that of neighbour Norway.

Yesterday, Tegnell indicated that success in tackling winter flu previous year may have been a factor in the high death rate due to the Coronavirus.

He stated: "When many individuals die of the flu within the winter, fewer die in heatwaves the next summer season".

Infectious disease consultant Prof Sam McConkey said there needs to be a plan to deal with Covid-19 for up to seven more years.

Overall, Sweden has had 57.5 Covid-19 related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic.

The Scandinavian nation presently has a low weekly fee of an infection of 28 instances per 100,000 folks in comparison with the UK's 69 per 100,000 - although critics have pointed to its excessive mortality fee which is ten instances larger than neighbour Norway.

"We must recognise that Sweden, at the moment, has avoided the increase that has been seen in some of the other countries in western Europe", WHO's senior emergency officer, Catherine Smallwood, said last Thursday.

'This may not be the whole explanation but part of it.

"That relation additionally defined the excessive loss of life charges recorded within the United Kingdom and Belgium".

"The main aim has been to protect the old and the vulnerable, majority living in care homes".

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven even confessed in May the country had not done enough to protect vulnerable people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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