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Sweden’s coronavirus death toll continues to spiral as it remains only country in Europe with pubs still open and packed


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Sweden’s coronavirus death toll continues to...

SWEDEN has seen another spike in coronavirus cases today with another 613 positive tests — yet its pubs remain open and packed full of drinkers.

The Scandinavian country has taken a markedly different approach from the rest of Europe, which is on lockdown.

⚠ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

The number of reported deaths has risen sharply since very low figures were released at the weekend
AP:Associated Press
People sit outdoors in Stockholm at the weekend, with Swedish authorities still holding out against imposing a lockdown
Getty Images – Getty

Today’s 613 new cases of Covid-19 marks the biggest jump for seven days, taking Sweden’s total from 11,927 to 12,540.

Sweden has also reported 130 new deaths – taking the total to 1,333, an average of 94 deaths per day.

Despite the rise in deaths, Sweden is yet to introduce stricter suppression and social distancing orders such as closing bars, restaurants, non-essential shops and schools.

Nor has it placed citizens in near-total lockdown, as in Italy, Spain and France.

Sweden is continuing to hold out against a national lockdown despite growing criticism and calls for “rapid and radical measures” to contain the outbreak.

The 613 new cases reported today are the highest 24-hour jump since 722 new infections were added to the tally a week ago.

The 5.1 per cent increase is also the highest since last week, at a time when many countries are seeing their infection rates slow down.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has placed his trust in Swedish people to be sensible
Rex Features

Bars and restaurants are still open in Sweden along with primary schools, and public gatherings of 50 people are still permissible.

Shops are also open, and the Government has emphasised taking “personal responsibility” for social distancing rather than enforcing it.

“People in Sweden have a high level of trust in government agencies — this means that a large proportion of people follow government agencies’ advice,” officials say.

They added: “In the current situation, people in Sweden are on the whole acting responsibly to reduce the spread of infection by, for example, restricting their social contacts.

“This crisis may continue for a long time, and in order for the measures to work over time, people need to understand and accept them.”


Sweden’s leaders have come under criticism from the scientific and medical community, both nationally and internationally, for refusing to lockdown.

One expert Sweden’s population could be infected with the coronavirus by the end of the month while others have warned of catastrophe.

Sweden’s public health agency says 565 cases were reported on Wednesday, up from 440 on Tuesday and 420 on Monday.

The agency says more than 5,000 of Sweden’s 12,540 cases area in the Stockholm region, with 214 new cases confirmed there yesterday.

Bars are still open and there is little worry in Sweden about coronavirus compared to its neighbours
Reuters
People enjoy the sunny weather on Easter Eve in Stockholm
ANDERS WIKLUND
Most other countries in Europe are in lockdown
AFP or licensors

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SWEDEN has seen another spike in coronavirus cases today with another 613 positive tests — yet its pubs remain open and packed full of drinkers. The Scandinavian country has taken a markedly different approach from the rest of Europe, which is on lockdown. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates […]

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