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Sweden announced Thursday it had 10,000 COVID-19-related deaths as it reported a record 351 deaths per day.

The latest number of deaths reported by the country’s public health agency is 10,185 COVID-19-related deaths in the country of around 10.3 million residents.

The deaths reported daily did not necessarily occur in the last 24 hours and are often several days old.

Sweden is currently one of the hardest hit countries in Europe and last week, according to official figures from AFP, topped its spring peak with an average of 101 COVID deaths per day.

As of Thursday, the country recorded an average of 132 deaths over the past seven days.

According to health authorities, the number of deaths is also likely to continue to rise.

“We regret to assume that the increase will continue as we have widespread transmission in the country,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, director of microbiology at the Public Health Agency, told a press conference.

On Thursday, the agency announced it had registered another 6,580 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total since the pandemic started to 518,783.

“It seems we have reached a plateau. We are not seeing any increase, but there are still large numbers of cases reported in Sweden,” said Tegmark Wisell.

Sweden has made headlines around the world for its decision to tackle the spread of the virus with largely non-enforced measures and never impose the kind of lockdown seen elsewhere in Europe.

In the face of a strong second wave, however, the country has tightened prevention measures in recent months.

As the cases increased, authorities urged people to limit social interactions to immediate family or a few friends.

A ban on public gatherings of more than eight people went into effect in November and since last week the country has been recommending the use of face masks on public transport, which it has refrained from throughout the pandemic.

Last week, the country’s parliament also passed a special pandemic law that gives the government more powers to put virus restrictions in place.

This meant that many recommendations for places like gyms, swimming pools, malls, and other businesses became mandatory for violations that risked a fine.

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© 2021 AFP

Quote: Sweden hands over 10,000 virus deaths (2021, January 14), retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-sweden-virus-deaths.html on January 14, 2021

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