Unlike most countries, Sweden has chosen a more relaxed approach to preventing the spread of the coronavirus, sparking a debate on how governments should confront the deadly pandemic.
Sweden’s high death rate among elderly men and women living in retirement homes have many, including the nation’s only cardinal, questioning whether measures meant to protect the most vulnerable have worked.
“Not being an expert, it’s difficult to judge, but I would say that many people here in Sweden are very worried and, also, the authorities have recognized that we have not been able to give elderly people the protection they needed,” Card. Anders Arborelius of Stockholm told Catholic News Service on May 7.
Although Swedish authorities called for people to work remotely and restricted gatherings of more than 50 people at the start of the crisis, restaurants and bars, as well as schools for children under the age of 16, remained open.
Anders Tegnell, the country’s chief epidemiologist, told CNBC on May 7 that cases in Stockholm, the epicentre of the outbreak, have peaked and that the numbers of those in hospitals “is clearly falling.”