More Swedish regions advised for more restrictions as COVID-19 cases increase 70 pct in one week

STOCKHOLM, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 cases have increased 70 percent in one week in Sweden, sparking the country to impose more restrictions in more regions, Swedish Television (SVT) on Tuesday quoted Anders Tegnell, a state epidemiologist, as saying at a press conference of the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

Tegnell said that the current upward trend in coronavirus infections in Sweden is evident, and that was also partly due to the fact that testing has been stepped up. "It is partly due to increased sampling, but there is definitely an increased spread of infections in parts of the society," he said.

According to the SVT report, the Public Health Agency of Sweden has decided to advise stricter restrictions in the southern region of Skane which is neighboring Denmark. "We have made a decision at the Swedish Public Health Agency to have stricter advice in Skane, similar to those in Uppsala," said Tegnell.

Skane, the southernmost county of Sweden, is the second region to be advised for stricter local restrictions after the university city of Uppsala, about 70 kilometers north of the capital Stockholm, where coronavirus has spread rapidly especially among the younger age groups. Currently, the top three regions in Sweden that are particularly affected by the increased transmissions are Skane, Uppsala and Stockholm.

According to SVT, people in the Skane region are currently urged to avoid public transport and shops. Tegnell also suggested that a unified national guideline on restrictions could be used if more regions see an upsurge.

At the same time, SVT reported that the number of patients in the intensive care unit in Skane is also increasing.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden said on Tuesday that there have been 5,191 more COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total infected cases to 115,785. And a total of 5,918 people have died after being infected with COVID-19 in the country.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, 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 Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.

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