As the countries of the world entered strict restrictions, closed businesses and imposed social distancing, Sweden took a different approach.
The Nordic country has kept its cafes, restaurants, primary schools, cinemas and pubs open.
The country’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said the intention was to ensure “a slow spread of the infection and that the health services are not overwhelmed”.
A week ago, Sweden’s approach was praised by conservative commentators around the world.
“If the COVID-19 pandemic ends in a few weeks, months before the alarmists claim it, they will probably immediately pivot and pat themselves on the back for the brilliant social distancing checks they have imposed on the world,” National review wrote.
“They will claim that their heroic recommendations have avoided total calamity. Unfortunately, they will be wrong; and Sweden, which has practically kept the company at bay, will probably prove them wrong. “
But Sweden’s plan didn’t work.
Coronavirus cases are increasing sharply there, even as the countries around it are stabilizing.
More worrying is the death rate in the country.
In neighboring Norway and Finland, the death rate is 2.2%.
In Sweden, it is 10.6%, almost five times more.
The disturbing figures prompted a group of 22 doctors and researchers to write an article demanding tougher lockdowns.
“As the virus spreads, there is a need to increase social distance,” the article published in Dagens Nyheter read the newspaper.
“Elected officials must intervene, there is no other choice”.
The more flexible locking procedures also did not save the economy.
The Ministry of Finance predicts that Sweden’s unemployment rate will reach 13% and its GDP will contract by 10% this year.
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