The development adds to controversy surrounding Sweden’s decision to ignore the lockdowns being imposed elsewhere, and instead leave schools, bars, cafes and restaurants open to the public. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said that stricter measures may be needed going forward.
In all, 1,033 Swedes have died from Covid-19, official figures showed on Tuesday. Though still well below fatality rates in Italy and the U.K., it’s far worse than in any of the Nordic countries with which Sweden usually compares itself. The Swedish mortality rate is almost 10 times higher than in Finland, more than four times higher than in Norway, and twice Denmark’s.
The latest development has prompted 22 academics to entreat the government to alter its course. “The approach must be changed radically and swiftly,” they wrote in an opinion piece published in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.