Swedish PM launches inquiry into country's handling of the pandemic

Swedish PM launches inquiry into his country’s decision to avoid a coronavirus lockdown as country sees highest per capita death rate in the world

  •  weden will launch an inquiry into the country’s handling of the pandemic 
  • The country had 5.59 deaths for every million people on a rolling seven day average in the week to May 29
  • Sweden shunned lockdown, keeping most schools, restaurants and shops open 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Sweden will launch an inquiry into the country’s handling of the pandemic before the summer.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven made the announcement in a newspaper interview on Monday, amid growing criticism over nursing home deaths and the lack of testing.

Lofven, whose Social Democrats rule in coalition with the Greens but also depend on backing from two centre-right parties, had previously said a commission would be appointed once the crisis was over but was under pressure to act sooner.

As of Monday, Sweden has recorded 37,814 cases of coronavirus. Eight more people died from the virus overnight bringing the total death toll to 4403.

As of Monday, Sweden has recorded 37,814 cases of coronavirus

Eight more people died from the virus overnight bringing the total death toll to 4403

Sweden will launch an inquiry into the country’s handling of the pandemic before the summer

‘We need to take an overall approach to see how it has worked at national, regional and local levels,’ Lofven told Swedish daily Aftonbladet in an interview. 

‘We will make a decision for a commission before the summer,’ he said.

Sweden has taken a more liberal approach to combating the virus than its neighbours and has left most schools, restaurants and businesses open, relying on voluntary measures focused on good hygiene and social distancing to stem the outbreak.

The country, which refused to impose a lockdown, has seen the death rate per capita than any country in the world over the past seven days. 

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven made the announcement in a newspaper interview on Monday, amid growing criticism over nursing home deaths and the lack of testing

The country, which refused to impose a lockdown, has seen 5.59 deaths for every million people per day on a rolling seven-day average in the week to May 29.

That rate is an astonishing 11 times higher than the world average of 0.49 deaths for every million people over the same period.

More than 4,000 people in Sweden, roughly half of them nursing home residents, have died in the pandemic, a per capita rate many times higher than in other Nordic countries, all of which imposed tighter restrictions.

Screens between the tables protect customers sitting outside at a restaurant in central Stockholm on Saturday, May 30

People enjoy the sunny weather in Tantolunden park in Stockholm on May 30

While the mortality rate over the course of the outbreak has been lower than in some countries that opted for hard lockdowns, such as Italy and Britain, Sweden had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Europe relative to the size of the population through parts of May.

Testing for the disease has also run well below the level in other Nordic countries, reaching only a third of the government’s target of 100,000 tests per week, sparking criticism from opposition parties on both the right and left. 

Testing for the disease has also run well below the level in other Nordic countries, reaching only a third of the government’s target of 100,000 tests per week, sparking criticism from opposition parties on both the right and left. 

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