The deteriorating situation with coronavirus infections will not allow the government to loosen the restrictions until May 3, warned Prime Minister Stefan Loefven.
– The situation is serious. The spread of infection is at a very high level, said the head of the Swedish government.
The local Public Health Office asked the government on Tuesday to postpone the lifting of epidemic regulations, which was to include, inter alia, increasing the limit of people who can attend concerts and sports events or visit amusement parks.
On Wednesday, the number of new cases of coronavirus infections was 8,441, the highest level since December. Director General of the Office of Public Health, Johan Carlson, announced that the healthcare system is beginning to be overburdened by the excess of Covid-19 patients. “The rate at which infections are spreading is increasing dramatically in many regions,” he added.
Sanitary restrictions were tightened in Sweden at the end of February. Restaurants close at 8.30 pm, and in many places the limits of people who can stay there, including in shops, malls and gyms.
Sweden’s restrictions are still relatively mild, compared to other European countries, and no lockdown has yet been introduced. In a country with 10 million inhabitants, the number of COVID-19 deaths exceeded 13,000. This is a higher fatality rate than in other Nordic countries, but lower than in many European countries that have introduced a lockdown, writes Reuters.
When the Covid-19 epidemic broke out a year ago, the Swedish government decided not to introduce a general quarantine and freeze the economy, and the authorities only issued recommendations. In connection with the second wave of coronavirus, the first serious restrictions were introduced at the end of last year, and in early January it was recommended to wear masks during rush hour.