Sweden could see new Covid-19 mini-wave in mid-May
By Yin Miao
People's Daily app

People shelter from the rain under their umbrellas as they walk past a partly damaged sticker of the Swedish healthcare services on a pavement to instruct people to follow the 2 meters rule on October 22, 2020, during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo: AFP)

Stockholm (People’s Daily) - The Swedish Public Health Agency has predicted that the number of people being treated in hospitals for Covid-19 could more than double by mid-May, as the new, more infectious Omicron BA.2 variant takes hold.

According to a new scenario published by the agency, the emergence of Omicron BA.2, which is roughly 30 percent more infectious than the previous Omicron BA.1 variant, will lead to a new wave of infections as it becomes dominant in Sweden.

“The scenario shows a possible development where cases of Covid-19 once again begin to grow somewhat, reaching a peak in the middle of May,” said Lisa Brouwers, acting head of unit at the agency.

In the scenario the roughly 25 people a day currently being treated for Covid-19 in Sweden will rise to around 60 a day by mid-May, after which the agency expects rates to decline again.

At the peak in mid-May, the agency estimates that around 3,500 people will be infected with the new variant a day, although it does not expect this to lead to a significant health consequence.

Because of the high immunity the population has gained through vaccination and that many people have recently contracted Covid-19, the burden on healthcare under our calculations will be relatively limited compared to previous peaks of infection, the agency said.

“The Public Health Agency does not consider any new infection control measures are needed at this point, but it’s important to keep up preparatory measures in the healthcare and elderly care sector, and to continue efforts to maintain high vaccination levels,” Brouwers said.

The agency predicts that when summer leads to people spending more time outside, the new Omicron BA.2 wave will subside, reaching even lower levels after people leave work and school for their summer holidays.