Four new corona deaths in Sweden March 23
Another four people have died in Sweden as a result of the corona virus. Three died in the Uppsala region and one died in the Dalarna region. A total of 25 deaths have now been reported in Sweden. About 1,900 people have been infected. "The epidemic in Sweden is dominated by the travelers who have come home," says state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. More than 80 patients receive or have received intensive care in Sweden.

Löfven: Lives, health and jobs threatened
“We have a general spread of the infection in Sweden. Lives, health and jobs are threatened. More will be sick, more will be forced to say a final farewell to a loved one,” was a part of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's message in his speech to the nation in Swedish TV on Sunday March 22. Löfven was clear that Sweden's population should be prepared for more intervention decisions to come. Decisions that may disrupt citizens' everyday lives more and which may come at short notice. “There are few moments in life when you have to make sacrifices, not just for your own sake, but for your surroundings, your fellow human beings and for our country. That moment is now. That day is here. This task applies to everyone. No one should risk anything in this situation. Every person in Sweden must do their part to limit the spread of infection as much as possible." As expected, the speech was bleakly serious. (Watch the 5-minute speech at SVT PLAY, www.svtplay.se)

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Warning about tougher measures?
Several observers speculate that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, in his TV speech, intended to mentally prepare the Swedish people for tougher virus measures in the near future.

Significant increase in notices of dismissal
Over the past week, the Swedish Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen, AF) has registered more than 13,000 people who have been notified of dismissal in the wake of the corona crisis. So far in March, a total of 18,367 people have been notified of dismissal. This is a higher rate than during the financial crisis, according to the Employment Service. The hotel, restaurant, travel and staffing industry accounts for 75 percent of the alerts in March, according to the Employment Service.

Minister of Finance: More measures will come
The warning indications that came from the Swedish Employment Service on March 23 are among the largest in modern times, says Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson. “How many of the notifications that will lead to layoffs is hard to say. It depends on how long this goes on,” Andersson said. She did not present any new crisis measures, but mentioned that an additional amended budget is underway.

Many companies want to postpone the tax
In just one week, the Swedish Tax Agency has received more than 600 applications from companies asking to postpone tax payments, something the government opened for in last week's crisis package. This means that companies can defer payments of employer social security contributions (arbetsgivaravgifter), preliminary tax on salaries and value added tax, which are reported monthly or quarterly.

Municipalities postpone collective bargaining
Negotiations for salaries of public employees in municipalities and regions have been postponed until the fall. Today's decision concerns 650,000 people.

National tests canceled
Skolverket, the National Agency for Education, has announced that all national spring exams in Swedish primary and secondary school are canceled due to the corona pandemic.