Sweden on Thursday passed 10,000 deaths of people who have tested positive for coronavirus, and health chiefs say they expect the number to keep rising.
Another 351 deaths were confirmed on Thursday, which means at least 10,154 people have now passed away after testing positive for coronavirus.
The data show how many deaths have been reported by Swedish regions so far – not deaths that occurred in the past 24 hours – and there is still a significant lag, which means the real figure is likely higher.
There is also still a significant spread of infection, said the Public Health Agency’s microbiologist Karin Tegmark Wisell at the authority’s biweekly press conference.
A total of 518,783 people have to date tested positive – almost a year after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Sweden. Sweden tested around 207,400 people in the first week of January – 19 percent were positive, a slight decrease, said Tegmark Wisell.
There are large regional variations, and unlike the first wave of the pandemic in spring, southern Sweden is currently the worst hit region. In Skåne, the rate of new cases reported in the past 14 days was 1,272 per 100,000 people – double that of the Sweden national average, which was 687, said Tegmark Wisell.
The corresponding figure in Västra Götaland was 787. Stockholm on the other hand was slightly below the national average, with a case rate of 423 per 100,000 in the past 14 days.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital decreased this week compared to last week, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare – from 2,580 to 2,395, the board’s Thomas Lindén told Thursday’s press conference. But he noted that there are regional differences, and the strain on healthcare is still serious.
By the end of last week, around 80,000 people in Sweden had been vaccinated.
Vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström said on Wednesday that the country is currently receiving 100,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine per week, which will rise to 300,000 soon, and to 500,000 per week in April when a total of five different vaccines are likely to have been approved.