Almost Half of Swedish Coronavirus ICU Patients are Migrants

CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA - NOVEMBER 18: The hand of a patient with Covid-19 while she is being visited by medical staff, at the ICU at The Hospital for Infectious Diseases, on November 18, 2020 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Romania, a country of some 19 million people, has reported 360 281 cases of …
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Nearly half of those in intensive care units (ICU) due to complications from the Wuhan coronavirus across Sweden are from migrant backgrounds.

A total of 46 per cent of those in ICUs in Sweden are from migrant backgrounds according to a report. Given that Sweden’s foreign-born population is around one-fifth of the total number of residents of the country, the figures suggest that migrants are serious over-represented in coronavirus statistics.

According to a report from Swedish newspaper Expressen, migrants also account for nearly half of those who have died of the Wuhan coronavirus under the age of 65, with native Swedes making up the majority of those over 65 who have fell victim to the disease.

The paper notes several reasons that migrants have been disproportionately affected by the disease such as socio-economic factors as migrants have a much higher unemployment rate than native Swedes, and the paper also lists overcrowding and larger average household sizes. Nevertheless, migrants are much younger, than average, than the broad Swedish population.

The Swedish Centre for Epidemiology and Community Medicine (CEM) released a report in November on the spread of the coronavirus in Stockholm and found socio-economic factors to be the main reason for the increased number of infections among migrants.

The report did not claim, however, that a lack of information was a factor for migrant communities, as had been suggested earlier this year when it was reported that Stockholm’s Somali community had been hit especially hard by the virus.

Sweden is not the only country to see migrant-background and minority communities hit harder by the coronavirus. In Italy, Minister for Regional Affairs Francesco Boccia inadvertently revealed in August that migrants made up as many as 25 per cent of the coronavirus infections.

Finland reported a similar trend earlier this month, with the country’s National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) admitting that a quarter of the coronavirus cases involved non-Finnish speakers as patients.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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