US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Sweden did not introduce an official isolation regime during the coronavirus pandemic. As an alternative, the country’s chosen model of combating coronavirus implies personal responsibility, while citizens are strongly encouraged to stay home if they are sick and maintain a social distance in public places. Most enterprises, restaurants, bars and schools did not close, although at the end of March the country was forbidden to gather in groups of more than 50 people.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven supported this strategy, calling it “common sense” and allowing the country to live a normal life.
True, this unconventional strategy has provoked a negative reaction from experts who, looking back, say that this policy “may not have been the most thought out in all respects”.
Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, said in an interview with The New York Times , a portion of which is cited in an article published this week that although businesses were mostly not shutting down and operating normally, Sweden this won nothing.
“They literally won nothing,” said Kierkegaard. “They hurt themselves, and they haven’t achieved anything economically.”
According to the Reuters news agency , according to the forecast of the Central Bank of Sweden published this month, the country’s gross domestic product (which determines the size of the country’s economy) will decrease by 4.5 percent this year. This is not in line with the previous forecast, according to which Sweden’s GDP will grow by 1.3 percent. At the same time, The New York Times writes that over the period from March to May, the country’s unemployment rate rose from 7.1 percent to 9 percent.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of June 8, Sweden had more than 73 thousand cases of coronavirus infection and more than 5.4 thousand deaths, which is more than in all other Scandinavian countries combined.
In Sweden, one of the highest death rates in the world is from coronavirus, an indicator that measures the number of deaths as a percentage of the total population.
According to Our World In Data, a scientific Internet publication from Oxford University, Sweden has a million more confirmed deaths than the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia — countries where the overall mortality rate is much higher than in Sweden. Some Swedish officials are demanding that authorities reconsider the state’s anti-virus strategy.
In April, more than two thousand Swedish scientists signed open letters urging the country’s authorities to reconsider the introduction of an isolation regime.
In May, former Swedish state epidemiologist Annika Linde said in an interview with the local newspaper Dagens Nyheter that, in her opinion, the country “should have introduced much more stringent restrictions from the very beginning”.
“We should have known how poorly trained we were in healthcare and elderly care,” Linde said. “By introducing an isolation regime, we could prepare, think it over and radically slow down the spread of infection.”
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