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Coronavirus: Sweden's COVID-19 death toll passes 6,000 with PM in isolation

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Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven leaves the European Council building at the end of an EU summit in Brussels, Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven leaves the European Council building at the end of an EU summit in Brussels, Tuesday, July 21, 2020.   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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Sweden's Prime Minister is self-isolating after a person close to him came into contact with someone with coronavirus.

Stefan Lofven announced the news on social media as the country experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The country's death toll from COVID-19 has now passed the 6,000 milestone.

“The developments are going in the wrong direction fast. More are infected. More die. This is a serious situation,” he wrote.

“On the doctor’s advice, my wife Ulla and I will stay isolated for the time being,” Lofven wrote. “We are fine and have no symptoms. In accordance with recommendations from health officials, we will take a coronavirus test as soon as possible.”

His announcement came as the government has ramped up its coronavirus restrictions in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Although Sweden, unusually in Europe, opted not to impose a full lockdown during the first wave of coronavirus, authorities have begun clamping down more in recent weeks, including caps on how many people can be seated together at restaurants and the introduction of local rules encouraging Swedes to work from home and avoid public transport.