Swedish wellness officials warned on Friday of worrying neighborhood outbreaks of the Covid delta variant and urged men and women to get vaccinated to keep away from a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Sweden, an outlier in the fight against the pandemic with its no-lockdown policy, has seen a steep decline in situations and hospitalisations in the previous month following surges in infections in the spring.
Close to half the adult population has received at least one vaccine shot but the wellness agency warned that men and women who had only received one shot had been much less protected against the delta variant.
“There are some dark clouds on the horizon and I think mainly of outbreaks of the delta variant. It is found in Europe and also locally in Sweden,” agency director basic Johan Carlson told a news conference.
The Delta variant, initially identified in India, is believed by UK epidemiologists to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant which was previously dominant in Britain, in aspect mainly because vaccines are much less helpful against it.
So far, only 71 situations of the variant have been confirmed in Sweden but it has prompted the agency to step up make contact with tracing. The delta variant accounts for about 90% of new situations in the UK.
On Thursday, Sweden reported 831 new situations and 3 deaths. The total death count of more than 14,500 has been greater than in other Nordic nations but reduced than in most European nations that opted for lockdowns.