COVID-19: Sweden exceeds 10,000 dead

Sweden surpassed 10,000 deaths since the start of the epidemic on Thursday, health officials said, after a new record of 351 deaths announced for the past 24 hours.

 The se new deaths announced by the Public Health Agency bring the total death toll of the pandemic to 10,185 in this kingdom of 10.3 million inhabitants, which has pursued a less coercive strategy than elsewhere in Europe.

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Sweden is currently one of the worst affected countries on the Old Continent and last week passed its peak in spring deaths, according to official data compiled by AFP.

On Thursday, the country hit a new all-time high of 132 daily deaths on average over the past seven days, according to data compiled by AFP.

“We unfortunately expect the increase to continue, as we have a widespread spread of contamination in the country,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, of the Swedish Public Health Agency, said during a press conference.

Authorities say the deaths reported daily did not occur in the past 24 hours, but mostly date back several days.

In total, the number of cases identified since the start of the epidemic has reached 518,783, or about 6,500 more in 24 hours, according to the latest score Thursday.

“It looks like we’ve hit a plateau (cases), we don’t see any acceleration, but there are still a large number of cases reported in Sweden,” said Karin Tegmark Wisell.

Unlike the devices imposed elsewhere in Europe, the Nordic kingdom has so far pursued a different strategy based mainly on recommendations, without containment and almost without coercive measures.

As for the mask, it was not recommended for a long time anywhere in the public space. Since January 7, it is officially recommended for public transport, but only during peak hours.

If the strategy remains less strict than in many countries, the kingdom has tightened the screws since November, with several series of measures restricting in particular tables in restaurants or switching distance education in high schools.

Faced with the strong second wave in the Nordic kingdom, Parliament also voted last week a law temporarily giving the government new powers against the epidemic, including allowing businesses to close for the first time.

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