Sweden has halted widespread testing for COVID-19 even among people showing signs of infection, eliminating mobile city-square tent sites, drive-in swab centers and home-delivery tests that have been ubiquitous during the pandemic. were and were provided. Data needed to track its spread.
The move puts the Scandinavian nation in line with most of Europe, but some experts say it could become the norm as costly testing offers little benefit with the easily permeable but mild Omicron version and as governments focus on a treatment for COVID-19. begin to consider endemic diseases like they do other endemics.
“We have reached the point where the cost and relevance of testing is no longer justified.” Karin Tegmark Wiesel, head of the Swedish Public Health Agency, told the national broadcast SVT this week.
“If we were to conduct widespread testing for all people with COVID-19, that would mean half a billion kronor (about $55 million) a week and 2 billion kronor ($220 million) a week,” said Tegmark Wiesel.
From Wednesday, only health care and elderly care workers and the most vulnerable will be entitled to a free PCR test if they are symptomatic, while the rest of the population will be asked to stay at home only if they show symptoms that may be COVID-19 can.
Antigen tests are readily available for purchase in supermarkets and pharmacies, but those results are not reported to health officials. Private health care providers may also conduct tests and provide certificates for international travel, but the cost will not be reimbursed by the state or health insurance.
WHO says case decline
The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus cases worldwide fell by 17 percent over the past week, including a 50 percent drop in the United States, while deaths globally 7 percent decline. The WHO reported more than 19 million new cases of COVID-19 and less than 68,000 new deaths during the week from January 31 to February 6. Experts say such figures greatly underestimate the real toll. The number of cases fell in each of the WHO’s six regions, except for its eastern Mediterranean region, which recorded a jump of 36 per cent, with increases particularly in Afghanistan, Iran and Jordan.
Threats to border trade between Canada and the US
Canadian lawmakers on Tuesday expressed growing concern about the economic effects of disruptive demonstrations, partly after truck drivers at the busiest border crossing between the US and Canada protested vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions. was blocked.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said a blockade on the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario prevented traffic from entering Canada, calling the bridge “one of the most important border crossings in the world”. It does 25 percent of the trade between Canada and the US. Transport Minister Omar Alghbra said such a blockade would have a serious impact on the economy and supply chains. PM Justin Trudeau said the protesters are “trying to block our economy, our democracy.”
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