Government appoints national coordinator to speed up lagging Covid-19 testing

Government appoints national coordinator to speed up lagging Covid-19 testing
The government has named a national coordinator to mobilize its Covid-19 testing as it struggles to reach its goal of 100,000 tests per week by mid-May.

Last week, Sweden carried out some 29,000 tests for the coronavirus yet officials say the country can do more to track infections.

So why isn’t it? Health minister Lena Hallengren says the answer is complicated, but that local health authorities need to do more, saying the lab capacity is now there.

Newly-appointed national coordinator Harriet Wallberg admits her task of organizing Sweden’s testing will be a complex but critical one.

She says her first order of business will be opening a dialogue with the nation’s 21 regions to find out more about the needs and challenges they face.
 
Covid-19 testing still far from 100,000 per week target

It’s been a month since the Public Health Agency said they would increase the testing for Covid-19 to up to 100,000 tests per week, but still less than a third of that is being carried out.

Last week, 27 April - 3 May, 29,000 Covid-19 tests were carried out in Sweden.

That is over 5,000 more tests than the previous week, but still well short of the target.

We visited a drive-in testing facility outside Stockholm that is standing more or less empty because they are instructed to only test people in the prioritised groups, such as health and care staff, who have been referred there by a doctor - and hardly any referrals are happening.

We also spoke to the Uppsala lab that three weeks ago aimed to analyse 10,000 tests per day. They are currently analysing up to a tenth of that figure. "We are not the bottleneck," says managing director Karl Andersson.

Source: Sveriges Radio

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