ONE of Sweden’s top health officials, who leads the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been slammed for taking a Christmas holiday to Spain’s Canary Islands.
Dan Eliasson is the head of Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency, which early in December sent a text message to all citizens urging them not to make any unnecessary trips.
He is currently facing calls to be sacked after photographs emerged of him at Las Palmas airport on Gran Canaria, where he went on a Christmas holiday with his family to visit his daughter who resides in the Canary Islands.
Eliasson defended his trip to Sweden’s Expressen newspaper, saying that he had travelled to Spain to “celebrate Christmas with (his daughter) and my family”. He said that he had “given up a lot of trips during this pandemic”, though this recent holiday was necessary for “family reasons”.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and other senior ministers have yet to comment on the scandal, according to Swedish media.
Sweden originally imposed no lockdown restrictions, though in December reacted to a surge in cases by warning citizens against non-essential travel and urged them to avoid new contacts during the journeys or at their destinations.
The country has seen 437,000 Covid cases and 8700 deaths, far more than its Scandanavian neighbours.
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