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I’ve just finished watching the Swedish health authority update, so here is some information “fresh off the press” :-)
Cases are up in Sweden (as they are across Europe), but not in the vulnerable 70+ age group, which has begun to be vaccinated. Covid deaths have dropped to a very low level and there is no excess mortality in Sweden. The rollout of vaccines has been slow here, about 10% of the population has had one shot, 5% two shots.
The virus has been winding down in Stockholm and now Gothenburg is having a surge of cases. National hospitalisations are up for those betwen 30-70 years old (about 1500 patients), and there are about 300 covid patients out of 600 patients in the ICU. They said at the press conference the ICU is about 30% busier than a normal year.
Big events – concerts, amusement parks, sports events - have been delayed until May 2nd.
There was a lot of talk at the press conference today of Swedes “tiring” of the pandemic and not following recommendations, this has been a theme for the past month or so.
Tegnell won’t answer any questions about vaccine passports, says it is a “political question”. :-/ Fyi, there are no mandatory vaccines in Sweden, they are voluntary only, but generally have a very large uptake. So vaccine passports would be directly against the law here, and most likely challenged in the courts.
I travelled to an island off Spain to spend 10 days with a friend who had rented a house for the month of March. To enter the island I needed to submit a negative PCR test and a health declaration. In a sign of how crazy things are, Spaniards from the mainland are forbidden to travel to the island, so it was very quiet, only locals plus a few Swedish and German tourists. When arriving back in Stockholm, I was offered a free PCR test at the airport by the local health authority, which I declined, feeling better than ever after some fresh air and sunshine. The majority of returning travelers skipped the test. The recommendation is that returning travelers take a test on arrival and another after 5 days, and quarantine for 7 days. All these are recommendations, there is no enforcement. I believe they originally wanted to track variants with the tests, but now it is known that the British variant is dominant here.
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