Sweden sees record number of coronavirus infections for second day in a row

Government warns it may close bars and restaurants if people keep ignoring social distancing.

Sweden has reported a record number of new coronavirus infections for the second day in a row – just as the country threatens to close bars and restaurants that do not follow social distancing measures.

Sweden posted a record 812 new Covid-19 cases today, adding 61 to the record 751 tally it reached the day before.

Major Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet declared ‘the corona curve is going in the wrong direction’ after the numbers were announced.

The country also saw an additional 131 new deaths, leaping from 84 on Thursday. Sweden’s new infections record represents a 4.8 percent rise on the previous day, and a 6.5 percent rise in new fatalities.

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The grim statistic comes as Sweden vows to close down bars and restaurants caught flouting social distancing recommendations.

This, as the country’s top disease expert Anders Tegnell admitted a lockdown might not have saved lives because half of Sweden’s coronavirus deaths are in care homes where visits are already banned.

Sweden has to date recorded 17,567 cases of coronavirus and 2,152 deaths.

State epidemiologist Tegnell said during a daily press briefing there are three forces driving Sweden’s new cases increase: more medical staff being tested, with between half to a third thought to be behind the rise; greater numbers of care home residents also being tested; and a nationwide rise of hospital admittance with Covid-19.

Speaking to the closure of Sweden’s bar and restaurant industry, Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told a news conference: ‘We see worrying reports about full outdoor dining and crowding. Let me be extremely clear. I don’t want to see any crowded outdoor restaurants in Stockholm.’

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Cornelius Rupert T.
Cornelius Rupert T.