Sweden issues new rules on family isolation amid rising infections


  • World
  • Friday, 02 Oct 2020

STOCKHOLM, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Adults sharing a household with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves for at least seven days, according to new recommendations issued Thursday by Sweden's Public Health Agency.

Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference Thursday that the new rules are a "reasonable" measure aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus amid a hike in infections in Stockholm and elsewhere.

A significant proportion of infections occur at home and at work, said Tegnell, adding "that is why we think it's reasonable for someone who lives with a person with COVID-19 to stay at home for one week."

He said health authorities would contact any individual affected by the new rules to instruct them on how to act. The recommendation is not only to stay home for seven days after another person in one's household tests positive, but also to take a test on day five, even if one is symptom-free.

However, children and those who had a positive antibody test in the past six months are exempt from the rules.

There is no legal sanction or fine for those who break the isolation rules.

Thursday's announcement came amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in Sweden, which health authorities regard as serious but not dramatic. The country has confirmed a total 93,615 cases of COVID-19 so far, with the death toll now at 5,893.

As the world is struggling to control the pandemic, countries across the globe -- among them Sweden, Germany, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- are racing to find a vaccine. According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Sept. 30, there were 192 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 41 of them were in clinical trials.

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