While countries across the world were going into strict lockdowns, closing businesses and enforcing social distancing, Sweden took a different approach.
The Nordic country kept its cafes, restaurants, primary schools, cinemas and pubs open.
Dr Tegnell argued that it was important for a large part of the population to contract and recover from coronavirus to become immune from it.
A week ago Sweden’s approach was drawing praise from conservative commentators around the world.
“If the COVID-19 pandemic tails off in a few weeks, months before the alarmists claim it will, they will probably pivot immediately and pat themselves on the back for the brilliant social-distancing controls that they imposed on the world,” the National Review wrote.
“They will claim that their heroic recommendations averted total calamity. Unfortunately, they will be wrong; and Sweden, which has done almost no mandated social distancing, will probably prove them wrong.”
But Sweden’s plan has not worked.
Coronavirus cases there are rising steeply, even as the countries surrounding it are levelling off.
More concerning is the fatality rate in the country.
In neighbouring Norway and Finland, the fatality rate is 2.2 per cent.
In Sweden it is 10.6 per cent, nearly five times higher.
The concerning figures have prompted a group of 22 doctors and researchers to pen an article demanding stricter lockdown measures.
“As the virus spreads, it is necessary to increase social distance,” the article published in Dagens Nyheter newspaper read.
“Elected representatives must intervene, there is no other choice.”
The looser lockdown procedures haven’t saved the economy either.
The Finance Ministry projected Sweden’s unemployment rate will rise to 13 per cent and its GDP will contract by 10 per cent this year.
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