- Patient’s mother says doctors “neglected him” as case total soars to 83
- First confirmed infection in a city-run care home
- Curiosum making thousands of virus protection masks with public’s 3D-printing help
- Student Union negotiates with Bostaden to protect students from eviction
ÅLIDHEM – The current confirmed coronavirus case total is 83 for Västerbotten, a rise in twelve from yesterday, with 15 in hospital. Eight are in intensive care, including a 25 year old man under the pseudonym Elias, with multiple pre-existing health conditions, according to Västerbottens-Kuriren. The paper quotes his mother as saying that the thermometer used to measure Elias’ temperature was broken. She is now considering filing a legal complaint, the paper writes.
“They neglected him,” the mother told the paper. “They did so even when I explained things. Then the doctor phoned and said that I was just exaggerating.”
City officials today revealed that they have confirmed a case of Covid-19, the disease that is caused by coronavirus, in a social services-run home in Umeå.
“It was to be expected that a person was infected in a care home, considering the community transmission of the infection in the region, and that this situation has arisen in large parts of the country” said Gunilla Persson, an infectious diseases specialist, who is the acting pandemic prevention official.
“Measures have been taken to prevent further contagion of the residence. The person is isolated and infection tracking has begun,” she said. “Now it is important that everyone does everything he or she can to prevent the elderly from becoming infected, and follows the general advice.”
The region also announced that dental treatments are being postponed for at-risk patients, including people over 70 and those with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, these patients will no longer be called in for routine dental examinations as a precaution to prevent the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, a beloved music performance cafe at Vasaplan, Plectrum, has closed permanently due to the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis.
“2019 was a financially heavy year for Plectrum,” the restaurant wrote this morning on Facebook, “and even if we’d worked hard and turned it around, [if] 2020 were to be a fantastic year, it’d be difficult to triumph over coronavirus with 2019 behind us”.
Restaurant managers added that they would like to thank all their guests who “brightened their days”. This comes after several businesses, including Flash and Deå Axelssons located in Avion, as well as other restaurants, such as the O’Leary’s Umeå branch have either permanently closed or announced long-term renovations.
In a bid to help provide health workers with much-needed protective equipment such as masks, Curiosum, the new university-run science center at the arts campus, has begun manufacturing them to increase supply for disability care, and in nursing homes.
Masks are made of visors and holders. Magnus Lindgren, the research engineer and workshop manager at Curiosum, has developed a new way to manufacture the visors, which speeds up production, by using a water and sand jet at high pressure to cut the materials. Manufacturers can now produce 100 units an hour. A special polyethylene plastic is used, because it is durable and steralisable. “Of course, it feels very good to be able to contribute something in this situation”, Lindgren remarked.
The City of Umeå says it greatly appreciates the programme, and is now commissioning Curiosum to 3D-print 1000 visor holders. “The support is absolutely invaluable, because we have a hard time solving this on our own”, said Jeanette Eriksson, a secretary at the city social services office. “I can’t find words to express the gratitude I feel, towards Curiosum, and everyone else who helps”.
Marcus Dageryd, an Ålidhem resident who owns a 3D printer, told Umeå Today that the designs for the 3D visor holders would take his machine three hours to print at a cost of less than 1.5 SEK each. Additionally, he said that designs are listed online for four holders, stacked on top of each other, so that a machine can be left working overnight.
“It’s wonderful to be able to help the medical professionals with what we can, and it’s a very easy thing to do”, Dageryd wrote. “It’s a minute or two of work for me per headband, and the cost is negligible. If the call for help is spread in the right channels, and it’s clear about where to drop the screens off (and how to treat them in a secure way while making and delivering them) it should be easy to mobilize the 3D printing community.”
Additionally, with schools closed and children at home, some families are struggling without the support of free lunches that schools would normally provide. Västerbottens-Kuriren has reported that the City of Umeå suspended provision of school lunches in secondary schools when they were closed. Unlike primary and preschool lunches, there is no obligation to provide them.
However, some local politicians and officials today voiced support for lunches to be available for secondary school students as well. City Councillor Peder Westerberg from the Liberal Party told Umeå Today, “we Liberals want high school students to get lunch vouchers from the municipality to use at local restaurants and cafes”. Councillor Mariam Salem from the Green Party (Miljöpartiet) also voiced concern for families who will struggle without assistance.
The Umeå Student Union said today that it is doing what it can to protect students living in accommodations provided by housing company Bostaden from being asked to leave because their studies have been put on hold.
Student Union Vice President Timmy Nyberg told Umeå Today that “students, as much as possible, should not be affected by the state of the world in which we find ourselves. We will defend students’ rights and ensure that their interests are protected through dialogue with entities that affect daily studies and social life.”
Yesterday afternoon, the union posted a message that it said it received from Bostaden. “Tenants who can show that the courses they are enrolled in have been cancelled,” the message said, do not “risk getting their lease terminated.”
Bostaden also announced today that the Salvation Army is pausing its collection of clothing and textiles from the green bins in housing complexes, because “sales and customer traffic have decreased as a result of the coronavirus.” Bostaden said that the bins will be locked indefinitely.
Umeå Today reported yesterday that the Salvation Army Umeå has launched a “hamster humanity” campaign, requesting that people hoard supplies from its stores to support the charity. The verb “to hamster” — att hamstra — has re-entered the Umeå vernacular during the coronavirus crisis, as a term to describe stocking up on supplies in the event of a future catastrophe.