Sweden’s top scientist says he is now considering ‘circuit-breaker’ style lockdowns in local areas after witnessing a spike in case across Stockholm.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell is said to be ‘seriously considering’ whether to impose new restrictions in hard-hit areas across Sweden in a bid to reduce transmission. This is despite him initially rejecting the measures at the start of the pandemic.
‘We are thinking of fairly short restrictions, to break the spread of infection requires perhaps two to three weeks at most, Tegnell said ‘We are still developing the concept, so to say, but something like that. The restrictions could be extremely local. It could be about a single workplace or city district: wherever you see a spread and think that there are restrictions that might stop it.”
Although Sweden, amid much controversy, chose not to lock down in March in favour of a herd immunity strategy, it is still yet to see the second wave of infections that is currently gripping France, Spain and the UK. Shops, restaurants and schools all remained open as the rest of Europe went into lockdown, with the government advising the population to stick to social distancing and avoid gatherings.
The Scandinavian country currently has a very low weekly rate of infection of 28 cases per 100,000 people compared to the UK’s 69 per 100,000. However, the capital Stockholm has seen a spike in cases, with the city’s health chief Björn Eriksson warning of “worrying signs of increasing infection”.
Professor Tegnell told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper: “We are thinking of fairly short restrictions to break the spread of infection which requires perhaps two to three weeks at most. We are still developing the concept, so to say, but something like that.” He added: “The restrictions could be extremely local. It could be about a single workplace or city district- wherever you see a spread and think that there are restrictions that might stop it.”
Number 10 ‘was recently briefed by Sweden’s controversial anti-lockdown epidemiologist Anders Tegnell’ before unveiling tough new measures.
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