STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will launch a national testing regime to help fight the spread of the coronavirus with the focus initially on health workers and others in key jobs, the government said on Tuesday.

“The government has today instructed the public health authority to quickly develop a national strategy to increase testing for covid-19,” Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, said at a news conference. “The aim is to extend the testing to other prioritised groups.”

Sweden has tested around 36,000 individuals and mostly people in need of hospital care. Germany has been testing around 500,000 people a week.

Sweden has a population of around 10 million against Germany’s 84 million.

The government also said it would ban all visits to old-people’s homes.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johan Ahlander)

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