At a time when much of Europe is tightening measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic , Sweden is modifying its own in the face of rising cases but remains true to its original strategy without imposing lockdowns and mandatory measures. In recent days, Sweden has announced stricter recommendations but at the same time relaxed many meters continuing its lonely course.
The number of new cases of covid-19 has been steadily increasing since mid-September. Yesterday, Thursday, health authorities recorded 1,614 new cases , the largest number since June. An upward trend is observed in many European countries, which have chosen to impose mini-lockdowns and traffic bans to limit the spread of the pandemic.
Life goes on in Sweden
Yesterday, the Swedish government surprised by removing recommendations for the most vulnerable to the coronavirus, in particular those over 70, whom it had asked since the start of the pandemic to stay at home. To justify their decision, the authorities said they fear the emergence of psychological problems, such as depression and loneliness, linked to the isolation. The ban on home visits, one of the few imposed during the pandemic, was also lifted in early October.
Unlike the rest of the world, Sweden remains one of the few countries not to recommend the use of a mask, as health authorities do not deem it effective enough. In Stockholm, daily life has not changed much since the start of the pandemic: most residents have their faces uncovered and restaurants and shops have never closed.
As images of crowded restaurants and buses have crisscrossed the world, most surveys show that 80% of Swedes have changed their ways in a country known for its social discipline. Residents mainly work from home, have less contact and wash their hands regularly.
Less severe Sweden which has 5,930 deaths from covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and one of the highest death rates in Europe tends to change its approach. Earlier this week, new measures were passed in Uppsala where there is an increase in coronavirus infections after students return to universities in early fall. Residents are now advised to avoid public transport and contact with people outside their home until November 3.
“People can only follow such strict rules for a limited period of time and timing is important. We cannot start too early and we cannot wait too long (…) we hope that it is the right moment ”, justified the epidemiologist Anders Tegnel who describes the strategy of Sweden in the face of the pandemic.