Sweden to spend an additional $1 billion to fight coronavirus: DN newspaper

FILE PHOTO: People walk past market stalls at Hotorget square, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in central Stockholm, Sweden October 30, 2020. TT News Agency/Amir Nabizadeh via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden is set to double the funding allocated to regions for fighting the coronavirus, Finance Minster Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, as the country prepares to amend its budget to cope with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The government will meet on Tuesday to boost the budget it agreed in September to include an additional 10 billion Swedish crowns ($1.12 billion) aimed at covering healthcare and other costs faced by regions as they deal with the coronavirus.

“This is more than what the municipalities and regions have applied for. We take into account the further risk of increased costs,” Andersson told the Dagens Nyheter daily newspaper.

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, reported 2,820 new coronavirus cases on Oct. 28, the highest daily total so far.

Authorities for the Stockholm region on Monday also warned of a “dire situation” as cases in the Swedish capital continued to rise.

“It is not money that should stand in the way of good healthcare and care,” Andersson added.

($1 = 8.9300 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Colm Fulton; Editing by Alex Richardson