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Press Conference March 24 Coronavirus Västerbotten
Press Conference March 24 Coronavirus Västerbotten

Umeå Officials “Preparing for the Worst” as Avion Stores Go Bankrupt

• Infection count rises to 32 in Västerbotten • Umeå Hospital instructs staff not to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on suspected coronavirus patients • City of Umeå tells Umeå Today: Löfven's speech was "serious and determined"
  • Infection count rises to 32 in Västerbotten
  • Umeå Hospital instructs staff not to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on suspected coronavirus patients
  • City officials tell Umeå Today: Löfven’s speech was “serious and determined”

ÅLIDHEM – Västerbotten health officials announced this afternoon that 32 people in total have tested positive for coronavirus in the region, two more than yesterday. One week ago, the total was 18. Four are now in the hospital, three in intensive care.

Infectious diseases specialist Gunilla Persson, echoing a warning that officials have sent out repeatedly in previous days, said that “we are preparing for what is to come: the situation will get worse.”

Umeå University Hospital is now cancelling some planned operations in order to free up resources for more coronavirus patients. Departmental director Brita Winsa said that “we are preparing to cancel more in the future.”

“This does not apply, for example, to emergency surgery or cancer surgery,” she added.

Sources at the hospital have told Umeå Today that they are now getting special instructions about how to handle suspected coronavirus patients in order to avoid becoming infected by them — for example, not to give them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in case of a breathing problem, but only CPR chest compressions. Umeå Today obtained a copy of the complete memo.

The city of Umeå this morning responded to Umeå Today’s request for a response to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s unprecedented Sunday night speech to the nation, in which he cautioned residents to prepare for difficult times ahead, to practice community responsibility to slow the infection’s spread, and to prepare for major decisions on coronavirus response, at short notice.

The municipality provided a statement which read that “a serious and determined Stefan Löfven acted as Prime Minister, and not as a politician, which was important to show that he was addressing all the people of Sweden.”

“We think it is good that he pointed out that everyone has his or her own responsibility not to contribute to the further spread of the coronavirus,” the statement said.

It continued, “Life and health come first, but the pandemic is going to have serious economic consequences, in the short term in any case.” The city went on to say that “Umeå municipality’s leadership and many of its activities have moved into a state of readiness and preparation. Umeå municipality hopes for the best, but is preparing for the worst.” The full English translation of the text is at the bottom of this post.

The city of Umeå’s complete statement on the Prime Minister’s speech, provided to Umeå Today –Umeå Kommun

Meanwhile, Umeå businesses are starting to be forced to shut down due to the coronavirus. In a press release today, the company which owns the Avion shopping center clothing stores Flash and Dea Axelssons said it is filing for bankruptcy and that they will close as a result. “The effects of covid-19 have put the company in an emergency situation,” wrote Johan Andersson, CEO of investment company Mellby Gård, which manages the stores’ parent company, Lund Fashion. “This is extremely tragic, and we are suffering with all employees, who fought to the end.”

FULL TRANSLATION OF STATEMENT FROM CITY OF UMEÅ:

“That was truly a speech to the nation. A serious and determined Stefan Löfven acted as Prime Minster, not as a politician – which was important to show that he was addressing all the people of Sweden.

“He emphasized that this is a serious situation, and that the corona pandemic poses a major challenge to society and health care.

“We think that it is good that he pointed out that everyone has his or her own responsibility not to contribute to the further spread of coronavirus, and that it is extra important to be thinking about at-risk groups. None of us should go to work or school with symptoms. This applies to young and old, rich and poor. Life and health come first, but the pandemic will also have serious financial consequences, in the short term in any case. The Prime Minister also said that we should all be prepared for more measures or restrictions in the wake of increased spread of infection, and that these may come at short notice – which is why Umeå municipality’s leadership and many of its activities have moved into a state of readiness and preparation. Umeå municipality hopes for the best, but is preparing for the worst.”

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