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People's Daily Online

Second COVID-19 case confirmed in Sweden

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:54, February 27, 2020

STOCKHOLM. Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A man in his 30s recently returning from Italy has been confirmed Wednesday as Sweden's second case of COVID-19 infection.

The patient is being treated at Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Hospital after having contracted COVID-19 in Italy, Swedish news agency TT reported Wednesday.

Swedish health authorities are now tracking down individuals to whom the man may have passed on the virus.

"The patient is doing well, considering the circumstances," Lars Magnus Andersson, head of operations at the Sahlgrenska Hospital's clinic for infectious diseases, said at a press conference Wednesday evening.

The patient had apparently not been traveling as part of a big group. To "respect the man's integrity," the Sahlgrenska hospital is withholding information about what part of Italy he has visited.

Infectious disease doctor Thomas Wahlberg told the press conference that there was no risk of contamination on the plane by which the man traveled back to Sweden.

In accordance with hospital routines, the patient has been isolated in a room with negative air pressure and staff members at the hospital are using protective equipment to avoid contamination.

Anders Tegnell, an epidemiologist at Sweden's Public Health Agency, participating in the press conference via a video link, said the detection of a second COVID-19 case in Sweden will not lead to any changes to the national directives for handling the prevention and containment of the virus.

"This is exactly what we've been prepared for. Nothing will change whatsoever," Tegnell said.

Sweden's Public Health Agency conducts weekly prognoses with updates about COVID-19. Currently, the risk of "imported cases," where individuals who have contracted the virus abroad travel to Sweden, is deemed to be high.

But at another press conference earlier on Wednesday, Tegnell said the spread of the virus will likely remain at a low level in Sweden in the near future.

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in Sweden was a woman in her 20s who was isolated at a hospital in Jonkoping in southern Sweden after having visited Wuhan, China. She has been receiving treatment for over three weeks.

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