Refused Coronavirus Lockdown: Sweden is Bracing for a Surge in Deaths
Amid strict lockdown around the world due to coronavirus, Sweden carried on almost normally and refused lockdown. It broke with international trends by not implementing a lockdown but it’s now bracing for a surge in deaths.
The government has urged people to practice social distancing and avoid traveling to help slow down the spread. There is a restriction on social gatherings up to a maximum of 50 people, which actually has been a revision down from 500 people.
Although Sweden has not seen a mass spread like some of other European countries: Italy and Spain. But it has not completely avoided the virus: As of today, the country had reported just over 7,600 cases and 591 deaths.
‘We will count the dead in thousands’
Swedish Prime Minister indicated that the country will have significantly more deaths:
We have chosen a strategy of trying to flatten the curve and not get too dramatic a process because then the healthcare system probably will not cope, but it also means that we will have more seriously ill people who need intensive care. We will have significantly more deaths. We will count the dead in thousands.Sweden’s Prime Minister told Dagens Nyheter Newspaper.
The country may introduce more strict measures which could include shutting transport, closing shops and restaurants.
But at the same time Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, defended the country’s strategy.
We think we’ve already taken the most important measures. Stay home if you feel ill; work from home if you can. And we have to ensure that we protect our older fellow citizens.Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist
He further said:
You could alter other rules, such as those governing trips to the restaurant or gatherings. But you get the best effect when everyone simply sticks to the basic code of conduct.Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist
Sweden’s response resembles an earlier similar plan in the UK that said the virus should move through most of the population so as to build up a “herd immunity.” Scientists have been critical of such plans as it could cause huge number of deaths.