Sweden warns of first lockdown amid surge in COVID-19 cases

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Swedish officials have warned that the country may need to implement its first lockdown amid the pandemic as the number of COVID-19 infections surged 100% in Stockholm over the past three weeks.

“We have a third wave of transmissions — it’s here now,” Johan Bratt, the acting health and medical care director for the Stockholm region, said Wednesday, Bloomberg reported.

The capital city recorded 6,336 new cases last week, compared with 3,225 for the week beginning Feb. 1, according to data.

“Even though vaccinations have started, it will take a long time before enough people are inoculated for us to go back to a more normal way of life,” Bratt said.

The country, which refrained from implementing a nationwide lockdown during the first wave of the pandemic, has been tightening restrictions over the past few weeks.

But Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said last week that the measures might not be enough.

“We are seeing an increase in cases again, we need to take new measures,” Lofven said, Bloomberg reported. “If the situation gets worse, the government is prepared to enforce a possible lockdown in parts of Sweden.”

The country, which refrained from implementing a nationwide lockdown during the first wave of the pandemic, has been tightening restrictions over the past few weeks.
AP

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