Sweden now has a higher rate of Covid-19 infection than France and Britain after avoiding blockades in favor of a ‘herd immunity’ approach to the pandemic.
Hospital admissions for coronavirus patients have almost doubled every week in Sweden, with the country recording 208,295 cases and 6,406 deaths since the outbreak began.
Although this is much less than in Britain, Spain and France, the per capita infection rate in Sweden has now exceeded all three nations.
Today, Sweden reported 393 cases of Covid-19 per million people, while Britain and France confirmed 337 and 324, respectively.
Sweden also has much higher infection rates than Norway, with total daily cases doubling in two weeks and hospitals filling up faster than any country in Europe.
Pictured: Comparing Sweden’s daily Covid-19 cases per million with the UK, France and Spain
Sweden now has a higher rate of Covid-19 infection than France and Britain after avoiding blockades in favor of a ‘herd immunity’ approach to the pandemic. Pictured: People in Stockholm, Sweden today
The number of Swedes in coronavirus intensive care doubles every week, sunreported, and is much higher than in Austria and Slovakia.
Here, hospital admissions for patients with Covid-19 double every nine days.
Goran Hansson, head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, has warned the situation in Sweden is ‘serious’ with the number of cases increasing at an ‘accelerated speed’.
He added: ‘Intensive care units are not yet at maximum capacity, but these wards can be filled quickly if the current trend is not broken.’
However, health authorities in Sweden have insisted: ‘We do not see that we are at a point where we can recommend the general use of face masks on public transport.’
Deaths in Sweden have now started to rise sharply (pictured) despite the country’s virus expert predicting it would go better than others during the winter
Sweden was left unprepared for a second wave of coronavirus because of the ‘desired opinion’ from its top virus expert, his predecessor said (pictured, average seven-day infections in Sweden)
Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Stockholm Public Health Agency, added: ‘Facial masks should not be used as an excuse to keep a distance.’
On Monday, the former Swedish state epidemiologist warned that the country has remained unprepared for a second wave of the coronavirus due to the ‘desired opinion’ from its senior virus expert.
Annika Linde said Anders Tegnell misunderstood when she predicted that the ‘herd immunity’ built over the summer would protect the country when winter came.
This approach has seen cases and deaths fly, and on Monday forcedPrime Minister Stefan Lofven to announce that rallies will be limited to a maximum of eight people.
Mr Lofven said Swedes should avoid going to gyms and libraries and cancel any dinners they had planned.
‘This is the new norm for the whole society,’ he said. ‘It will get worse. Do your homework and take responsibility for stopping the virus from spreading. ‘
Hospital admissions for coronavirus patients have doubled almost every week in Sweden, with the country recording 208,295 cases and 6,406 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. In the photo: Stockholm today
Today, Sweden reported 393 cases of Covid-19 per million people, while Britain and France confirmed 337 and 324, respectively. In the photo: Stockholm today
The new meeting limit, set so far between 50 and 300 people depending on the event, will take effect on November 24th.
This does not affect meetings in private homes – because the government does not have the authority to ban them – but ministers have advised you not to associate with anyone outside your home.
Speaking about the situation in Sweden before the announcement, Lindetoldtelegraph: ‘Voluntary thinking – when you do not believe in the worst case scenario – has been very much guiding Swedish decisions.
‘The Swedish authorities have been slow all along. Instead of being proactive, they ran after the virus and the virus was able to spread long before they took action. ‘
Tegnell had boasted over the summer that Sweden’s unblocked virus strategy was seeing cases fall because people were developing natural immunity.
He predicted that the country would be better protected in the winter than countries such as Norway, which had imposed blockades.
But last week he was forced to make a humiliating turn, acknowledging that ‘development has been different from what we believed over the summer’.
Linde said the government should have started preparing for the second wave in late summer, hitting large rallies and insisting on wearing the mask.
This would have reduced the number of ‘seed’ cases among the population when autumn arrived, when respiratory infections usually circulate much faster.
Instead, it took October 20 before Tegnell released the first set of local restrictions, an action Linde said left the government behind.
These restrictions have now been implemented in most of the country, with a nationwide ban on alcohol sales coming into force on Wednesday.
Tegnell has already raised the possibility that the measures will have to go further, suggesting that travel bans may be in place during Christmas.