The average age people live “has increased steadily in Sweden from 1900 to 2019,” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday. “The fact that it’s now falling stands out.”

Sweden has suffered a much higher Covid-19 mortality rate than its Nordic neighbors, with its old-age care homes particularly hard hit. The country’s decision not to impose a lockdown remains controversial, and authorities are now shifting gear to place outright bans on some forms of social interaction to fight the virus…

A separate report showed that the number of Swedish Covid patients in intensive care rose to 209 on Wednesday, 16 more than the previous day and the most since June. Sweden has recorded about 63 deaths per 100,000 due to the virus, compared with 6 in Norway, 14 in Denmark and 7 in Finland.

In a recent OECD study, Sweden consistently ranked among the hardest hit nations in Europe, as measured by relative Covid mortality and infection rates. It was also the slowest at containing transmission.