Sweden declare pandemic over, despite warnings from scientists & More News Here

STOCKHOLM, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Sweden scrapped nearly all of its few pandemic restrictions on Wednesday and stopped most testing for COVID-19, even because the stress on the healthcare techniques remained excessive and a few scientists begged for extra endurance in combating the illness.

Sweden’s authorities, which all through the pandemic has opted towards lockdowns in favour of a voluntary method, introduced final week it will scrap the remaining restrictions – successfully declaring the pandemic over – as vaccines and the much less extreme Omicron variant have cushioned extreme circumstances and deaths.

“As we know this pandemic, I would say it’s over,” Minister of Health Lena Hallengren advised Dagens Nyheter. “It’s not over, but as we know it in terms of quick changes and restrictions it is,” she stated, including that COVID would not be categorized as a hazard to society.

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As of Wednesday, bars and eating places can be allowed to remain open after 11 p.m. once more, and with no limits on the variety of visitors. Attendance limits for bigger indoor venues had been additionally lifted, as was the usage of vaccine passes.

‘WE SHOULD HAVE MORE PATIENCE’

Swedish hospitals had been nonetheless feeling the pressure, nonetheless, with round 2,200 individuals with COVID requiring hospital care, about the identical as through the third wave within the spring of 2021. As free testing was diminished earlier this month and successfully stopped from Wednesday, nobody is aware of the precise variety of circumstances.

“We should have a little more patience, wait at least a couple of more weeks. And we are wealthy enough to keep testing,” Fredrik Elgh, professor of virology at Umea University and one of many staunchest critics of Sweden’s no-lockdown coverage, advised Reuters.

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“The disease is still a huge strain on society,” he stated.

Sweden’s Health Agency stated this week that large-scale testing was too costly in relation to the advantages. Sweden spent round 500 million Swedish crowns ($55 million) per week on testing for the primary 5 weeks of this yr and round 24 billion crowns because the begin of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Sweden registered 114 new deaths the place the deceased was contaminated with the virus. In complete, 16,182 individuals have died both of the virus or whereas contaminated by it. The variety of deaths per capita is way increased than amongst Nordic neighbours however decrease than in most European nations.
($1 = 9.0914 Swedish crowns)

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Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Alex Richardson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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