Sweden registers 8,846 new COVID-19 cases, 243 deaths on Wednesday

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden registered 8,846 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, health agency statistics showed.

The country registered 243 new deaths on Wednesday, taking the total to 8,727. The deaths registered have typically occurred over several days and sometimes weeks.

The health agency has said statistics over the Christmas period are less reliable than usual due to less testing and delays in reporting of deaths.

Sweden's death rate per capita is several times higher than that of its Nordic neighbours' but lower than in several European countries that opted for lockdowns.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Louise Heavens)