Swedish health officials on Friday warned of worrying local outbreaks of the delta variant of COVID and urged people to get vaccinated to avoid a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Sweden, an outlier in the fight against the pandemic with its no-lockout policy, has seen a sharp drop in cases and hospitalizations over the past month after a surge in infections in the spring.
Almost half of the adult population has received at least one injection of the vaccine, but the health agency warned that people who had only received one injection were less protected against the delta variant.
“There are dark clouds on the horizon and I’m mainly thinking of outbreaks of the delta variant. It is found in Europe and also locally in Sweden, ”said agency director general Johan Carlson at a press conference.
The Delta variant, first identified in India, is considered by British epidemiologists to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant which was previously dominant in Britain, in part because vaccines are less effective against it. L5N2NR40Y
So far, only 71 cases of the variant have been confirmed in Sweden, but this has prompted the agency to step up contact tracing. The delta variant accounts for around 90% of new cases in the UK.
Sweden reported 831 new cases and three deaths on Thursday. The total death toll of more than 14,500 was higher than in other Nordic countries but lower than most European countries that have opted for lockdown.
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