Missing man and girl rescued from mountain

A father and his eleven-year-old daughter who went missing in temperatures of -19C in west Sweden, on the border with Norway, have been rescued.

Missing man and girl rescued from mountain
The pair were believed to be on a snowmobile like these ones. Photo: TT

The pair were picked up by a rescue helicopter soon after 11am after police and family members managed to contact the pair by phone.

They had been missing since Monday after going out on a snowmobile in a mountainous area near the village of Gördalen.

"They must have had a hell of a night. They had a windbreak up there but actually slept under a tree. They did not even have a fire," police spokeswoman Lena Nilsson told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

She added that neither of the pair had been injured.

After speaking to the father earlier in the morning,  police spokesman Bo Eriksson told news agency TT: "He sounded in reasonably good form…they are fine but we haven't yet found where they are."

The father contacted a relative at around 3.30pm on Monday to explain that they had run into trouble, but the pair had not been seen since.

Police spent the morning trying to call the father’s phone, but mobile reception in the region is known to be very patchy.

“It is very cold in the area now, around 16 degrees below zero. But these two should be accustomed to the mountain environment, they are not beginners,” Johan Wennström, duty police officer in Dalarna told the TT news agency just before 8am.

Extra rescue workers and volunteers were called in to help at around 5am on Tuesday morning and a helicopter was sent from Stockholm.

"That this ended well is wonderful. The feeling cannot be described with words. It is the kind that makes you shed a tear of joy," police spokesperson Lena Nilsson told SVT.


Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.