Sweden refuses to introduce lockdown measures and completely relies on people taking responsibility themselves.
Sweden is among the 188 worst-hit countries in Europe with the highest death rates. However, unlike other countries which have imposed strict restrictions and penalties on their citizens, Sweden continues to defy the implementation of lockdown.
The country refused to enforce social distancing allowing its citizens to take matters into their own hands. The people of Sweden were advised to take precautionary measures without any restrictions. Even the restaurants, bars, schools and other such crowded places remain open.
The Swedish government completely relies on its people to take responsibility in their own hands in order to fight the pandemic. However, a few rules were still enforced for the elderly, remaining as the countries main focus. The nordic country limited social content for people over 70. Even though they were late to make this certain decision as the virus widely spread due to older people visiting each other’s homes.
The countries controversial strategy caught President Donal trump’s attention and he decided to make a criticizing comment about it. ”Sweden did that, the herd, they call it the herd. Sweden’s suffering very, very badly,” the President said in his statement on Tuesday.
However, the Swedish government was quick to respond. Anne Linde, Foreign Minister of Sweden said on Wednesday that Trump was ”factually wrong” to propose that they were following the ”herd immunity” theory.
She added that the Swedish strategy was, “No lockdown and we rely very much on people taking responsibility themselves.”
Anders Tegnell who is the country’s state epidemiologist also came back at the President’s criticism that Sweden was doing badly. “I think Sweden is doing okay,” he told CNN. “It’s producing quality results the same way it’s always done. So far Swedish health care is handling this pandemic in a fantastic way.”
However, a few Swedish experts have shown consternation against the government’s decision asking for justification as to why the government has chosen such an irresponsible and unusual strategy.
The World Health Organization has also called for Sweden to take more action, telling CNN on Wednesday that it is “imperative” that Sweden “increase measures to control spread of the virus, prepare and increase capacity of the health system to cope, ensure physical distancing and communicate the why and how of all measures to the population.”
“Only an ‘all of society’ approach will work to prevent escalation and turn this situation around,” said a WHO European spokesperson.
The unusual decision made by the Swedish government by no means seems to stop the virus from spreading. The country has about 9685 COVID-19 cases and 870 deaths with 205 recoveries.
Even though there aren’t any strict restrictions implied but people have started to take social distancing measure themselves. Whereas, areas which were once crowded are now filled with only a few people. A journalist from Stockholm, Elizabeth Liden reported to CNN that the city was now less crowded and the subway went from being completely crowded to having only a few passengers per car.
However, the country seems to have prepared well since the basic health services are free. That said, the world will have to wait until next month to see whether Sweden made the right decision or not.