Sweden's second COVID wave could peak in mid-December, Health Agency says

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The second wave of COVID-19 infections that has hit Sweden could peak in mid-December, health officials said on Thursday, stressing developments will depend on how well the public follows social distancing advice. New infections have hit record levels in recent weeks after a lull in the summer, throwing the country's light-touch approach to fighting the pandemic into renewed focus

Reuters November 27, 2020 00:12:03 IST
Sweden's second COVID wave could peak in mid-December, Health Agency says

Swedens second COVID wave could peak in midDecember Health Agency says

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The second wave of COVID-19 infections that has hit Sweden could peak in mid-December, health officials said on Thursday, stressing developments will depend on how well the public follows social distancing advice.

New infections have hit record levels in recent weeks after a lull in the summer, throwing the country's light-touch approach to fighting the pandemic into renewed focus.

In total, 6,622 people with COVID-19 have died in Sweden, a per capita total vastly higher than neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland, which opted for stricter lockdowns during the spring, but lower than a handful of larger European nations.

Tougher restrictions in place since mid-October, however, may have helped slow the spread of the disease with the Public Health Agency saying infections could peak in the coming weeks.

"We are optimistic we can affect the development of the pandemic in this way," Health Agency head Johan Carlson told a news conference.

But he cautioned the modelled scenario by his agency was not a forecast and relied on the public following recommendations. "If we don't get that as we expect, we won't have this development, we will have a worse development."

The agency said the current pace of new cases was lower than that predicted by its model, but that this might reflect an inability of testing, which has been overwhelmed in some regions, to keep up with the spreading virus.

The government has given the agency the task of modelling how the pandemic will develop to help authorities and healthcare services with their planning.

The agency has faced criticism in Swedish media that its previous modelling attempts have been inaccurate, for instance in predicting during that the country would not face a broad second wave of infections during autumn.

The current scenario is based on infections reported between Aug. 24 and Nov. 6 and other variables. Sweden registered 5,841 new cases and 67 deaths on Thursday.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; editing by Niklas Pollard)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.