Our World in Data shows Sweden had the highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in Europe over the last seven days, Reuters reports, calling the country’s more relaxed pandemic strategy into question.
Sweden, where COVID-19 deaths are declining overall, opted to rely mostly on voluntary social distancing and hygiene measures during the global health crisis, keeping most restaurants, schools, and businesses open. It’s unclear how much that choice contributed to Sweden’s deaths per capita, which averaged 6.25 per million inhabitants between May 12 and May 19, but it’s possible the policy has played a significant role.
That said, Sweden has fewer deaths per capita during the full length of the pandemic than its fellow European countries like the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and France, which instituted stricter lockdowns, though there’s an argument that Sweden is better suited for a more relaxed lockdown because of its demographics. Meanwhile, Sweden’s neighbors Denmark, Norway, and Finland, all of whom implemented more intense measures, have had far fewer deaths per capita. Read more at Reuters.
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