Sweden registers its lowest number of covid cases since March with only 108 after the country did not introduce lockdown
- Sweden’s seven-day average for coronavirus was 108 as of Tuesday
- The figure is the lowest since March 13, when it decided not to introduce locking
- France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic all have higher case numbers
Sweden has registered its fewest daily cases of Covid-19 since the peak of the pandemic in March.
The Scandinavian country, which was originally criticized for not implementing a lockdown, now sees significantly fewer cases than other European hotspots.
Its rolling seven-day average stood at 108 on Tuesday, the lowest number since March 13th.
Sweden has registered its fewest daily cases of Covid-19 since the peak of the pandemic in March
Stockholm, pictured in May as the rest of Europe was on the verge of lockdown, opted for an easy approach
Its seven-day average for coronavirus-related deaths is zero.
Only 1.2 percent of Sweden’s 120,000 tests last week came back positive, their national health agency shows, according to The Guardian.
Their total accumulating 14-day new cases are 22.2 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 279 in Spain, 158.5 in France, 118 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Belgium and 59 in the United Kingdom.
All of these countries introduced lock-in in the grip of the pandemic in March, but Sweden opted for an easier approach, which now seems to be paying off.
It even surpasses its Scandinavian neighbors, Norway and Denmark, suggesting that their approach may have helped them in the long run.
The Scandinavian country, which was originally criticized for not implementing a lockdown, now sees significantly fewer cases than other European hotspots
Sweden held open schools for children under the age of 16, banned gatherings of more than 50 people and asked the over-70s and vulnerable groups to isolate themselves.
Shops, bars and restaurants were kept open throughout the pandemic and the government has not recommended wearing masks.
In Sweden, the death rate has fallen steadily since April despite a high number of cases in the summer – with the country’s largest epidemiologist saying deaths can be kept low without drastic lockdown measures.
France recorded its highest increase ever in cases with more than 10,000 on Saturday, but deaths are nowhere near mid-April, and the country’s prime minister says it must ‘succeed in living with this virus’ without going back in lockdown.
Current infection rates in Europe according to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), where Spain and France are among the worst affected countries in the recent rebound
In the United States, cases rose to record levels in July and August after the first wave was withdrawn – but deaths in summer hotspots such as Texas and Florida were far below those in New York City, where the virus hit hardest in the spring.
Cases peaked in Sweden in the second half of June, where some days saw more than 1,000 infections – but the number of deaths continued to fall regardless.
Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who has become the face of the non-lockdown strategy, said in a recent interview that voluntary hygiene measures had been ‘as effective’ as complete shutdowns.
‘The rapidly declining cases we are seeing in Sweden right now is another indication that you can get the number of cases down quite a bit in a country without having a complete lockdown,’ he told Unherd.
Tegnell added that ‘deaths are not as closely linked to the number of cases you have in a country’, saying the death rate was more closely linked to whether the elderly are infected and how well the health system can cope.
‘These things will have a greater impact on mortality than the actual spread of the disease,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Swedish economic activity has begun to pick up, and the effects of the downturn appear less severe than previously feared.