Sweden has come under mounting fire for its ‘relaxed approach’ to the coronavirus pandemic as the death toll tops 1,000.
IN addition to international press, 22 researchers from its capital Stockholm – where more than half of the Covid-19 fatalities have occurred – have publicly criticised the government’s strategy and called on politicians to make changes.
In an article published today in Dagens Nyheter, the scientists from top Swedish universities and research institutes, slam the Swedish Public Health Agency, and urge “elected politicians” to take “swift and radical” action.
Sweden’s Covid-19 death toll now stands at 1,033, according to its health authority following an increase of 114 in the past 24 hours.
The authority has also confirmed 11,445 people have tested positive, with 915 being or having been treated in ICU.
In the opinion piece, the 22 experts say the health agency has claimed on four separate occasions that the spread of infection has levelled out, despite the figures indicating otherwise.
Schools remain open and life appears to continuing as normal, with the exception of major public events being postponed and university buildings being closed.
Rather than imposing outright lockdown orders implemented elsewhere in Europe to try to combat the spread of the virus, Sweden is instead calling on citizens to take responsibility and follow social distancing guidelines.
The researchers have hit out at this soft approach, pointing out: “So in Sweden, more than 10 times as many people are dying than in our neighbouring country Finland,” where a number of stricter measures have been put in place.
Finland has almost half the population of Sweden’s 10.2 million, and as of this afternoon has recorded 64 deaths, 3,161 infections with 300 recoveries. All restaurants and schools have been closed.