The Prime Minister of Sweden told citizens to prepare for “thousands” of coronavirus deaths – but still refused to lock the country despite calls from doctors.
The liberal nation has so far avoided the tougher approaches of most of its neighbors, refusing to close pubs, restaurants and schools.
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The deadly virus has now taken root in the country, with 6,830 confirmed cases and 401 deaths recorded to date.
And Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has now warned his compatriots that they will soon face an explosion in the death toll.
He told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “We will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care and we will have many more deaths.
“We face thousands of deaths. We have to prepare for this. “
Sweden has now reluctantly tightened some of its social distancing regulations after much criticism.
“DO NOT DRAMATIZE”
He reduced the number of people allowed to assemble from 499 to 49 and ordered bars and restaurants to offer table service only.
But despite the Prime Minister’s frightening warning, he still refused to order a nationwide lockdown.
And he downplayed what critics have called the government’s “softer” approach compared to other countries.
Lofven said, “I don’t think you should dramatize [the differences].
“We do it in a slightly different way. Sometimes it’s because we’re in different phases [of the pandemic]. “
Lofven had previously said that a complete foreclosure was not necessary because his government trusted the Swedes to behave “like adults” and socially aloof if they were sick.
But the relaxed measures have alarmed the country’s medical community.
A petition signed by more than 2,300 doctors, scientists and professors called on the government to tighten and tighten the restrictions.
Professor Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, virus specialist at the Karolinska Institute, said: “We don’t test enough, we don’t follow, we don’t isolate enough – we let the virus go wild.
“They lead us to disaster. “
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However, the scientist who led the battle for the foreclosure of Sweden yesterday said that the foreclosure of Britain went too far.
Anders Tegnell, who studied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Mail on Sunday: “I’m very skeptical about blockages, but if you do it, you have to do it at an early stage.
“At times, I guess they can be useful, if you are not prepared and need intensive care facilities, for example, but you are just pushing the problem in front of you.”
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