Sweden has chosen the right strategy in fighting the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday, defending hisgovernment’s decision not to adopt a strict lockdown as many
European countries have done.
More than 5,800 Swedes have died of COVID 19, a much higher death rate than in neighboring Norway, Denmark and Finland which adopted much tougher measures than Sweden, leading many to question the government’s approach.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
But Lofven said Sweden had made the correct choice.
“The strategy that we adopted, I believe is right - to protect individuals, limit the spread of the infection, etc,” he said in an interview in daily Dagens Nyheter.
“What has been discussed most, and what we did differently in Sweden, was that we did not close schools. Now there are quite a few people who think we were right.”
While many countries enforced strict lockdowns, Sweden has relied mainly on voluntary measures focused on social distancing, though public gatherings have been limited and care homes -- which saw a heavy death toll -- quarantined.
While Sweden has seen more fatalities than its neighbors, it has not been as badly hit as countries like Britain and Spain, which adopted much stricter lockdown measures.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Furthermore, while many parts of Europe are seeing a pick up in new cases as they gradually loosen restrictions on travel and social interactions, Sweden has seen a decline in both infections and deaths in recent weeks.
Lofven also defended the decision by the Public Health Agency not to enforce the wearing of facemasks, as many European countries have done, to fight the spread of the virus.
“What they are saying, and what I absolutely believe, is that they cannot be the main tool we use,” Lofven said.
“What is important still is social distancing, testing and tracking. Those must be our main focus in order to reduce infection.”
- Sweden temporarily pulls its diplomats out of North Korea partly over coronavirus
- Coronavirus: World still doesn’t understand, Sweden’s COVID-19 expert says
- Did Sweden follow the right coronavirus strategy? Former Prime Minister comments
- Coronavirus: Sweden admits less restrictive COVID-19 response could have been better
- Sweden’s coronavirus herd immunity timeline fails, country’s public health chief says
- Coronavirus: Sweden records over 4,000 deaths despite herd immunity approach
- Coronavirus: Sweden built herd immunity without lockdown, now the world follows suit