Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) as of April 30 show how Sweden’s death rate per million people is skyrocketing above its neighbours. A chart produced by Our World In Data illustrates how Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, where lockdowns are in place, are trailing behind the Swedes on COVID-19 deaths.
And in a separate chart which compares the five countries with the UK and the US, Sweden is seen to have more deaths per million people than America.
Denmark has reported 452 deaths (78 per one million), Norway has 210 death (39 per million), and Finland has confirmed 211 fatalities (38 per million).
As of Friday, Sweden had recorded a total death count of 2,586, which equates as 256 death per million.
The data comes as critics have questioned Sweden’s approach to the virus and US President Donald Trump hit out the Swedes’ handling of coronavirus amid fierce criticism over his own response to COVID-19.
He said: “Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown.
“As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighbouring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443).
“The United States made the correct decision!”
Sweden has kept most schools, restaurants and businesses open, and relied primarily on voluntary measures to fight the virus.
Swedes have been asked to keep social distance, work from home where possible, and avoid travel.
Last week Prime Minister Stefan Lofven stood by his controversial plan.
He said: “I feel confident in the overall strategy.
“One reason that we have chosen this strategy, and where we have supported the agencies, is that all measures have to be sustainable over time.”
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Some Swedish scientists have however accused the government of running a dangerous experiment with people’s lives and urged it to implement lockdowns like those in neighbouring countries.
But this week the country won praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its response.
Dr Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said other nations could look to Sweden’s plan as a “model” for battling coronavirus.
Dr Ryan sees “lessons to be learned” from the way Sweden “has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate.”
He added: I think there’s a perception out that Sweden has not put in control measures and just has allowed the disease to spread.
“Nothing can be further from the truth.”
Regardless of domestic decisions, the global slump will batter Sweden’s export-dependent economy, which the government expects to contract 7 percent this year.
JP Morgan has forecast Sweden’s economy will contract less than the euro area, with a 2.4 percent contraction in the first quarter of this year.
The US-based bank predicted a 13.7 percent contraction in the second half of 2020.
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