Stockholm to open field hospital as COVID-19 cases rise

Stockholm plans to open its first field hospital this weekend for patients suffering from the new coronavirus as cases rise in the city, officials said Thursday.

The field hospital has been erected in a large exhibition centre in the southern suburb of Alvsjo.

Sweden on Thursday reported 5,466 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 282 deaths. The actual figures are likely much higher, as only severe cases and are being tested for the illness.

According to Stockholm health care authorities on Thursday, 179 deaths have been registered in the capital, while 143 people are currently in intensive care units and another 572 people are receiving general hospital care.

The will initially be able to take 140 patients, with the number eventually rising to at least 600.

Sweden has drawn international attention for taking a softer approach to the crisis than many other European countries.

The government has not ordered a lockdown, but instead strongly encouraged Swedes to practice social distancing and work from home if possible.

While primary schools and cafes, restaurants and gyms remain open, Sweden has urged people over the age of 70 and in risk groups to self-isolate, and has banned gatherings of more than 50 people and banned visits to nursing homes.

© 2020 AFP

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