Sat. Oct 1st, 2022


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Sweden on lockdown: Country to bring in local shutdowns to fight coronavirus crisis

3 min read

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While the rest of the world shuts pubs and restaurants during the lockdown period, Sweden kept them open but now the government looking at alternative ways of handling the virus.

Johan Nöjd, who leads the infectious diseases department in Uppsala, said: “It’s more of a lockdown situation – but a local lockdown.”

It is believed the new rules are expected to come into force on Monday and will allow regional health authorities to ban people meeting in public places such as shopping centres, concerts and swimming pools.

People could be also told to avoid public transport or visiting elderly or those who are high risk.

Unlike other countries, these new measures are just guidelines rather than imposing fines on anyone who breaches the rules.

Bitte Brastad, chief legal officer, added the measures were “something in between regulations and recommendations”.

Dr Nojd confirmed further measures would be imposed if contact tracing found links between infections and certain areas.

Anders Wallensten, deputy to Sweden’s leading epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, said the country has “some immunity as a consequence of how we have managed” the pandemic.

Since the start of September, Sweden has seen a gradual increase of new cases, sparking concerns for the country.

Back in July, Swedish experts warned the rest of the world not to do what they did.

During the outbreak, the Scandinavian country focused their attention on herd immunity and took a more relaxed course to fight against the virus.

Shops and restaurants remained opened and wearing a face mask was not mandatory.

But this move comes after several European nations have introduced new measures and restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus.

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Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her citizens to expect “difficult months ahead” following a new daily record of cases.

She said: “Difficult months are ahead of us.

“How winter will be, how our Christmas will be – that will all be decided in these coming days and weeks, and it will be decided by our behaviour.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is also believed to be announcing new measures tomorrow to counter the new wave of infections.

Mr Conte will reportedly close schools again as cases continue to soar across the country.

Over the last 24 hours, the country has recorded 10,925 new coronavirus infections, an increase of the record breaking figure the day before.

Italy recorded 10,010 news infections on Friday, according to the health ministry, marking the highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak.

It has the second-highest death toll across Europe after the UK, with more than 36,000 fatalities since February.

Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase as much of Europe enacts new restrictions to curb the outbreak.

Europe, which successfully tamped down the first surge of infections, has emerged as the new coronavirus epicentre in recent weeks and is reporting on average 140,000 cases a day over the past week.

As a region, Europe is reporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the United States combined.

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