Pressure growing on Sweden’s hospitals as COVID-19 cases soar

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STOCKHOLM, March 29 (Xinhua) — The number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospital treatment has increased sharply over the weekend in many of Sweden’s regions, local media reported on Monday.

In Vastra Gotaland County, where Sweden’s second largest city Gothenburg is located, the number of hospitalized patients has increased from 288 to 367 since Friday, Swedish Television (SVT) reported.

“The situation is serious. The pressure on hospitals is extremely high,” the region’s authorities reportedly warned on Twitter.

Hospitals in the Uppsala region also reported a high number of COVID-19 patients — nearly as many as when the pandemic peaked last year. Uppsala University Hospital has recently noted an increase in the number of young people listed as seriously ill.

“The variant (of COVID-19) first discovered in the United Kingdom seems to make them sicker,” Magnus von Seth, chief physician at the intensive care unit, told SVT.

The Dalarna region has prepared for crisis measures due to the situation. “Intensive care is heavily burdened, and we must be prepared to, if necessary, strengthen staffing and increase the number of care places,” Karin Stika Mjoberg, acting director of health and medical care, said in a press release.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the Stockholm region has increased steadily in recent weeks, but it is still far smaller than it was in the last weeks of 2020. However, the situation at one of the hospitals in the capital has become so dire that ambulances are directed to other hospitals, SVT reported.

According to the latest statistics from the Swedish Public Health Agency, as of Friday, Sweden had 780,018 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 13,402 coronavirus-related deaths. Enditem

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