Swedish PM defends COVID strategy from criticism over death toll

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden has chosen the right strategy to fight the spread of new coronaviruses, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday, defending his government’s decision not to adopt a strict lockdown, as many European countries has done it.

File photo: Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven left a meeting in Brussels, Belgium in early July 21, 2020, at an EU summit amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS / Johanna Geron / Pool

COVID 19, more than 5,800 indigenous people have died, a much higher death rate than neighboring Norway, Denmark and Finland, who adopted much tougher measures than Sweden, leading to questions over the government’s approach.

But Löfven said Sweden had made the right choice.

“The strategy that we adopted, I believe, in an interview in the daily Densens Nutter, I believe it is right – to protect individuals, limit the spread of infection, etc.”

“What has been most different in Sweden, it was discussed that we did not close schools. Now there are many people who think we were right. ”

While many countries have implemented strict lockdowns, Sweden has relied on voluntary measures focused primarily on social disturbances, although public ceremonies have been limited and homes taken care of – including a heavy death toll – seen in quarantine Has gone.

While Sweden has seen more fatalities than its neighbors, it has not hit as badly as countries like Britain and Spain, which adopted very strict lockdown measures.

In addition, while many parts of Europe are seeing a spurt in new cases as they gradually loosen restrictions on travel and social relations, Sweden has seen a decline in both infections and deaths in recent weeks.

Lofven also defended the decision of the Public Health Agency, so that many European countries did not implement the wearing of facemasks to fight the spread of the virus.

“What they are saying, and what I fully believe is that they may not be the main tools we use,” Lofven said.

“What is important is still social disturbances, testing and tracking. Our main focus should be on reducing infections. ”

Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Alistair Bell

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