Byfors said that the Public Health Agency has increased its efforts to monitor the new coronavirus strain and is now aiming to collect tests from everyone who has arrived in Sweden from the UK since October.
"On Monday, we issued a new recommendation urging everyone who has been in the UK to get tested so that we can conduct contact tracing and ensure this virus strain does not spread in Sweden. Those who do not show any symptoms should also get tested," said Byfors.
The Public Health Agency has also urged anyone who has travelled to Sweden from the UK and those in their households to self-isolate.
Asked how Sweden's vaccination program would be affected by a potential spread of the new coronavirus strain in the country, Byfors said it would likely not have a significant impact. However, Sweden's healthcare system is already under great strain, with 536 out of 684 ICU beds with respirators already occupied, newspaper Aftonbladet reported on Saturday.
The Agency's latest figures released on December 23 showed that a total 8,279 people have died in Sweden since the start of the pandemic, and the country has confirmed 396,048 cases. The figures are expected to go up when they are updated on December 29.
According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of December 22, there were 233 Covid-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 61 of them were in clinical trials.
A couple of vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies from the United States, Germany, Russia and China have so far been authorized by several countries and regions for emergency use.
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