Sweden equaled its record number of deaths from coronavirus in one day with 114 new deaths, bringing the total to more than 1,000, as a group of experts attacked the authorities’ approach to the crisis .
The country also recorded a peak of 497 new cases in 24 hours.
The Swedish Public Health Agency said on Tuesday it had recorded a total of 11,445 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,033 deaths.
He warned that the actual number of deaths could be higher as not all deaths had yet been reported during the four-day Easter weekend.
People hang out on the street in central Stockholm amid the new coronavirus pandemic in Stockholm, Sweden
“Dying a day is probably the number we can least trust today because there is normally a lot of delay when it comes to weekends,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told reporters. .
The numbers are up slightly from Monday, when Sweden reported 919 deaths and 10,948 confirmed cases of the virus.
Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary foreclosure orders implemented elsewhere in Europe to stem the spread of the virus, but has instead called on citizens to take responsibility for following social distancing guidelines.
The country is pursuing relatively liberal policies to fight the coronavirus pandemic, even though there has been a sharp increase in deaths.
The softer approach to the Nordic country has again drawn criticism abroad and has been the subject of fierce debate at home.
A group of 22 doctors, virologists and researchers criticized the Public Health Agency in an editorial published Tuesday by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
They accused him of not having devised an adequate strategy, stressing that the death rate in Sweden was now much higher than that of its northern neighbors.
People hang out in a cafe in central Stockholm in the middle of the pandemic. In an opt-ed Tuesday, some 22 public health experts called on politicians to take control, saying the Swedish Public Health Agency had failed
“Thus, in Sweden, more than 10 times more people die than in our neighboring country, Finland,” they wrote while highlighting a number of more aggressive measures taken in Finland.
Finland, which has about half the population of Sweden, reported 42 deaths on Thursday and closed restaurants and schools.
At the press conference, Anders Tegnell however firmly rejected the accusations and disputed the figures put forward.
Tegnell previously said that Finland appears to be in a different phase of the epidemic, which partly explains the decline in mortality.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde already last week rejected criticism from US President Donald Trump, who said the country was not doing enough to fight the virus.
Tegnell dismissed the critics, saying the figures used by the experts were “wrong”.
So far, the Scandinavian country has banned gatherings of more than 50 people, closed secondary schools and universities, and urged people over the age of 70 or otherwise more exposed to the virus to isolate themselves.
The softer approach means that schools for young children, restaurants and most businesses are always open, giving the impression that Swedes are living their lives as usual.
While most businesses in Sweden are still operating, the economic cost of the pandemic is already being felt. Last week, 25,350 Swedes registered as unemployed, according to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce – a larger increase than during the 2008 financial crisis.
After a sharp increase in deaths in Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven proposed an emergency law allowing the rapid closure of public places and transport if necessary. Lofven also warned citizens to prepare for perhaps thousands of deaths.
People hang out in Kungstradgarden Park in central Stockholm amid the new coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Stockholm. Over 1,000 people have died from coronaviruses in Sweden and the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 11,000
People pictured in central Stockholm amid the coronavirus pandemic. After a sharp increase in deaths in Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven proposed an emergency law allowing the rapid closure of public places and transport if necessary
Nevertheless, Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist, insists that Sweden’s approach still seems logical, even if he also recognizes that the world is in unknown territory with the virus.
He argued that if Sweden could have more infections in the short term, it would not run the risk of a huge spike of infection that Denmark could face once its foreclosure is lifted.
“I think Norway and Denmark are now very concerned about how you can stop this complete lockdown in a way so as not to cause this wave immediately when you start to relax,” he said.
He said the authorities know that the physically distant Swedes are doing work because the authorities have recorded a sudden end to the flu season and a sickness from winter vomiting.