Sweden launches SMS campaign to alert citizens on Covid-19 rules

Updated December 12, 2020

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IANS

Stockholm, Dec 12 (IANS) Starting from December 16, Sweden's regional Covid-19 recommendations will be replaced by national guidelines and more responsibility will be placed on the citizens to halt the spread of coronavirus, Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg said here.

To this end, the government has tasked two authorities -- the Public Health Agency and the Civil Contingencies Agency -- with organising a mass SMS campaign, with messages urging the public to follow the official recommendations, reports Xinhua news agency.

"The authorities' recommendations are not general tips. They should be followed," Damberg told journalists here on Friday.

Sweden's four biggest telecom operators will be assisting the government in the effort, Digital Development Minister Anders Ygeman said, and the message will go out to 22 million smartphone users across the country.

"If we can save just one life by doing this, it will be worth it," said Morgan Olofsson, head of communications at the Civil Contingencies Agency, which also asked members of the public to translate the message for family and friends who do not speak Swedish.

The text message, in Swedish, will read: "Information from the authorities. Follow the new, stricter recommendations for stopping the spread of Covid-19. Read more on the Krisinformation website."

Krisinfomation, meaning "crisis information", is where emergency information from the Swedish authorities is posted.

There is also an English version of the website.

With 160 new fatalities reported in Sweden on Friday, Sweden's overall coronavirus death toll now stands at 7,514, according to the Public Health Agency.

The country's caseload has surged to 320,098 Swedes , with 7,370 new cases reported between Thursday and Friday alone.

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