Sweden experienced a new outbreak of coronavirus today after another 613 people tested positive.
The 613 new cases mark the largest jump in seven days and the third largest since the start of the crisis, bringing Sweden’s total from 11,927 to 12,540.
Deaths increased by 130, the second highest number of deaths per day after 170 yesterday, bringing the total from 1,203 to 1,333.
Sweden continues to resist a national foreclosure despite mounting criticism and calls for “swift and radical measures” to contain the epidemic.
This graph shows the daily number of cases registered in Sweden. Today’s figure of 613 was a big increase from 482 yesterday
This graph shows the daily number of deaths. Only a handful were recorded during the Easter weekend, causing a spike when these days were correctly counted
Yesterday’s higher numbers were partly due to an Easter weekend order book, but today’s numbers seem to represent a real increase in new infections.
The 613 new cases reported today represent the highest 24-hour jump since 722 new infections were added to the count a week ago.
The 5.1% increase is also the highest since last week, at a time when many countries are slowing their infection rates.
According to the Swedish public health agency, 565 cases were reported on Wednesday, compared to 440 on Tuesday and 420 on Monday.
The agency said more than 5,000 of Sweden’s 12,540 cases in the Stockholm area, with 214 new cases confirmed yesterday.
Bars and restaurants are still open in Sweden, as are primary schools, and public gatherings of 50 people are still allowed.
Stores are also open and the government has focused on taking “personal responsibility” for social distress rather than enforcing it.
“The Swedes have great confidence in government agencies. This means that a large proportion of people follow the advice of government agencies, “say officials.
“In the current situation, Swedes are acting globally in a responsible manner to reduce the spread of the infection, for example by restricting their social contacts.
“This crisis can last a long time and for the measures to work over time, people must understand and accept them. “
Young people are seated at a table in central Stockholm over the Easter weekend. The number of reported deaths has risen sharply since the release of very low figures this weekend
People sit outside in Stockholm on weekends, Swedish authorities still standing against the imposition of a lock
However, the government has faced increasing criticism as its death rate far exceeds that of Finland, Denmark and Norway.
“The authorities and the government had no idea that the epidemic would reach Sweden,” said Bo Lundback, professor of epidemiology at the University of Gothenburg.
Lundback and 21 other researchers urged the government to reconsider and institute “swift and drastic measures” in a joint newspaper article on Tuesday.
“Sweden was poorly prepared or not even prepared at all,” said Lundback.
Last week, health officials announced that 40% of deaths in the Stockholm region – the epicenter of the epidemic – could be attributed to retirement and care homes.
Even with measures targeting these institutions, half of the capital’s retirement homes have experienced cases of viruses.
A third of the country’s municipalities have reported cases in retirement homes, public radio reported in early April.
The government has struggled to explain the epidemics.
“We still don’t know the reason, but there is not too much choice,” said Health Minister Lena Hallengren earlier this month.
“Either the travel ban was not enforced, or staff with symptoms, or who did not think they had symptoms, went to work,” she wrote.
Sweden has also pledged to spend more than 100 billion crowns (£ 8 billion) to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.
Despite the lack of foreclosure, the Swedish economy is expected to contract by around 4% this year.