March 22, 2020 / 12:13 PM / 12 days ago

Swedish PM to give rare national address on coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks during a news conference after the second day of the European Union leaders summit, held to discuss the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027, in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven will make a rare live television address to the nation on Sunday evening regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Social Democrat Lofven will speak for about five minutes, public broadcaster SVT said on its website.

Sweden has 1,746 confirmed cases of coronavirus — or 17 per 100,000 citizens — and 20 deaths, according to the latest official count. As in many other countries, the government and central bank have launched a number of measures aimed at stemming the pandemic’s economic fallout.

The number of patients in intensive care has risen steeply in Stockholm over the past days and healthcare officials have voiced concerns over staff shortages and said there is a risk of an imminent shortage of some protective gear for the staff.

More than 305,000 people have been confirmed infected by the virus across the world and more than 13,000 have died.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Catherine Evans

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