Sweden, the European nation that preferred its own way during coronavirus outbreak, announced another shocking decision. On Friday, the government vowed to dramatically increase testing for the novel pathogen up to 100,000 people a week.
Sweden is going to roll out over coming weeks and primarily target those in key social roles, such as police and firefighters, in addition to patients with severe symptoms and healthcare personnel who are already prioritised, to allow them to return to work faster after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
“We are talking about testing and analysis capacity of 50,000, perhaps as many as 100,000, a week,” Health Minister Lena Hallengren confirmed during the press conference on Friday.
In fact, Swedish health authorities said that almost 75,000 people have been tested in the country so far, The Local Sweden reports quoting Hallengren.
The Public Health Agency said it had looked at the whole testing chain and would leverage new actors, such as employers, to collect samples via take-home kits and private sector companies to help analysis.
It is worth to note that Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary lockdown measures seen across Europe, instead urging people to take responsibility and follow official recommendations.
However, the government issued several certain bans that prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people and barred visits to nursing homes.
The Public Health Agency reported 12,540 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Sweden as of April 16. So far, there were 1,333 deaths from the novel pathogen.