COVID-19 UPDATE: Sweden is one of those European countries that have kept a low-key approach towards the pandemic and as per the latest data, the country seems to have recorded the highest number of deaths in the past 150 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has allegedly claimed 51,405 lives in total from the month of January to June (that is the first half of the year 2020).
This is the highest number of deaths since the 1869 famine that saw a total of 55,431 fatalities.
Unlike the other countries, Sweden decided to not opt for a strict lockdown has been heavily relying on the concept of personal responsibility to maintain social distancing. Almost all schools, salons, bars, and even businesses have remained operational amidst the COVID-19 situation. This however didn’t help since only 7.3% of the population living in Stockholm had been able to develop antibodies as of mid-April (70-90% of the population needs to develop antibodies for herd immunity).
Such a nonchalant approach towards a virus that has already taken so many lives at an early stage itself has surely attracted a lot of criticism. The most criticism comes focused on the high death rate in care homes.
Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist of Sweden had admitted in earlier in the month of July that Public Health Agency of the country “didn’t know that there would be such a big potential for the disease to spread in elderly care homes, with so many deaths”.
The economy of the country expected to fare better than many counterparts considering the economic sectors remained mostly operational with no lockdown in place. However, Sweden had to pay an economic price as the country’s near 50% of the economy is dependent on exporting goods and the pandemic has significantly hampered the international demand due to the large scale outbreak of COVID-19.
As per economists, Sweden is supposedly going to see a further 5% contraction in its economy which will amount to thousands of people losing their bread and butter.
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