Sweden’s digital registry for Covid-19 cases was forced to close on Sunday for “security reasons,” having shut down only two weeks ago as a result of a hacker attack.
Labs and doctors across the country are still unable to report new cases on the SmiNet database, according to a statement from the the Public Health Agency. The registry also closed in late May after several hacking attempts were discovered, but the agency hasn’t said whether there was a breach of sensitive data.
The shutdowns come at a sensitive time for the agency and the Swedish government, which are basing decisions on easing restrictions partly on data stored in the SmiNet system. The May incident was followed by a week without any updates on Covid-19 cases, and the data subsequently presented was incomplete.
The Nordic nation has seen a steep decline in cases and hospitalizations, having suffered a heavy toll during the first wave of the pandemic and coming under fire for refusing to implement strict measures adopted by many other countries.
Now the health agency is advising that most restrictions can be removed when the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals falls below 100, cases per 100,000 are less than 50 over a 14-day period and more than 70% of the adult population has received at least one vaccine dose.
The potential security flaw in the database is now being investigated, according to the agency