Sweden sees increase in coronavirus infections, fall in deaths

STOCKHOLM, June 4 (Reuters) - Coronavirus infections are increasing in Sweden, while the number of deaths and people treated at intensive care continue to fall, the Health Agency said on Thursday.

Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said the increase in cases could not solely be explained by increased testing. Sweden has registered 41,883 cases in total.

“Unfortunately, in Sweden, we can see an increase in cases again,” he told a news conference, urging people not to ease up on social distancing.

Sweden has not imposed a lockdown, instead relying primarily on voluntary measures focused on social distancing and hygiene. It has kept most schools, restaurants and businesses open.

Tegnell said the increases in new cases was seen primarily in Western Sweden and among younger people than before.

“Cases among the really old have declined quite rapidly. It shows the measures taken have had an effect,” he said. “There’s reason to believe the decline in deaths will continue.”

Sweden registered 20 new deaths on Thursday, taking the total to 4,562, much higher than in neighbouring Nordic countries but also much lower than the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Nick Macfie)