Princess Sofia of Sweden to work as healthcare assistant during coronavirus pandemic after three-day course
Princess Sofia of Sweden will be donning the scrubs to help her country's overburdened healthcare workers in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes after Sofia, 35, took a three-day online course at the Sophiahemmet University College in Stockholm, where she is an honorary chair member, according to the Royal Central.
She is now qualified to assist with healthcare work and help in her country's fight against COVID-19. Pictures showed her all scrubbed up and posing with other staff members at the Sophiahemmet hospital while, of course, maintaining a safe distance.
While it was initially intended for 30 people, the university is reportedly training up to 80 people a week to help lift the burden on the doctors and medical workers in the country -- Sweden has so far seen 11,927 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,203 deaths.
Most of those trained were the staff of SAS, a Swedish airline, and the staff of hotels and restaurants who are now temporarily unemployed because of the pandemic.
The princess, formerly a model, has not taken a break over Easter and, having been an honorary chair of Sophiahemmet since 2016, is quite familiar with the situation.
"In the crisis we find ourselves in, the Princess wants to get involved and make a contribution as a voluntary worker to relieve the large workload of health care professionals," the Royal Court stated.
Sophiahemmet’s spokeswoman Pia Hultkrantz explained some of the duties that these supporting staff would be carrying out and said they would not be coming into direct contact with any of the COVID-19 patients.
"They’re going to relieve the health care professionals during this crisis so that those who are trained to care can actually do it," Hultkrantz said.
"In other words, anyone who attends this training will not have any patient-close care. They can disinfect equipment, do shifts in the kitchen and cleaning. Regardless, none of the course participants will work directly with corona patients."
While Sophiahemmet Hospital currently does not have any patients with coronavirus, preparations have been made to help people who do contract the disease. It has also changed its care routines so staff pay more attention to hygiene and take the necessary precautions.
The hospital has a storied relationship with the Swedish royal family that dates back to 1884. At that time, Queen Sophia of Sweden and Norway sponsored the nursing education that was offered at the university.
Sweden reported 170 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, April 15, making it the highest single-day increase in deaths during the pandemic. Just a few days prior, only a handful of deaths had been confirmed, raising hopes that the curve was flattening.
50 deaths were registered on Saturday and just 12 new deaths were announced on Sunday, though that number soon proved to be misleading as the Easter weekend had not been properly accounted for.
The number of infections, on the other hand, rose by 482, which was a smaller increase than expected.