STOCKHOLM, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- A maternity ward of a Swedish hospital is fully occupied by women infected with COVID-19, Swedish Television (SVT) reported on Thursday.
The country has been hit by a surge of the Omicron variant, smashing the previous record of new confirmed cases in 24 hours by half. This is also reflected among pregnant women.
"For the first time since the pandemic started, we have an entire maternity ward that are filled with women tested positive for COVID-19," the maternity ward at a hospital in Sweden's second-largest city Gothenburg wrote on social media.
SVT reported that almost all the 11 pregnant women who tested positive were unvaccinated.
"We already have a strained situation at the maternity ward. Now it gets even worse, as (for) delivering women wearing full protective equipment is a tough work environment," unit manager Shabnam Ronaghi told SVT.
"As a pregnant woman, you belong to a risk group, and not getting vaccinated is serious," she said.
According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden, pregnant women have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, and an infection may also lead to premature delivery.
The agency therefore strongly recommends that expectant women get vaccinated.
Despite this, only 54 percent of women who gave birth in December 2021 had received at least one dose of vaccine, the authority said in a report.
This compares to 85.9 percent of the population aged 12 and older who had received at least the first dose as of Wednesday.
The number of in-patients treated for COVID-19 at Swedish hospitals was approximately 930 on Thursday, an increase of more than 100 from the previous day, and 110 were in intensive care, SVT reported.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the Public Health Agency said 75 percent of the COVID-19 patients in intensive care were unvaccinated.
According to the figures released on Wednesday, a total of 1.375 million cases had been confirmed with 15,369 deaths registered among the population of 10.4 million since the pandemic started. ■