Sweden sees slowing third COVID-19 wave but infections still high

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in Sweden has decreased in the past week, but infections are still at a high level and it is too early to say whether the trend will continue, the Health Agency said on Tuesday.

Sweden has experienced a severe third wave of the pandemic and the number of patients treated at intensive care has been the highest since during spring last year, although deaths have remained low.

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The country, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 14,911 new coronavirus cases since Friday, health agency statistics showed on Tuesday, the lowest weekend figure in five weeks.

“We saw a decrease of some 10-11 percent last week,” Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference. “There is still a very high level of spread in Sweden. It is too early to claim any victory,” he said.

Sweden registered 225,000 vaccination shots since Friday, taking the total to over 3 million administered doses. Almost 28 percent of all adult Swedes have received at least one shot vaccine.

The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 45 new deaths, taking the total to 13,968. Deaths in Sweden have been among the lowest in Europe in the last months, due to large uptake of vaccine among the elderly.

Sweden’s death rate per capita is many times higher than that of its Nordic neighbors’ but lower than in most European countries that opted for lockdowns.

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