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AFP
June 4, 2020

Sweden admits virus response could have been better

World

AFP
June 4, 2020

STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s top epidemiologist said Wednesday there was room for improvement in the country’s controversial softer approach to curbing the spread of COVID-19, but maintained he still had faith in the strategy. Anders Tegnell, the public face of Sweden’s virus response, defended the decision not to impose the strict lockdowns seen in other countries. But as more information had become available, adjustments to the strategy could have been made, he added. “If we were to encounter the same disease with everything we know about it today, I think we would end up doing something in between what Sweden and the rest of the world has done,” Tegnell told Swedish Radio. Sweden has so far reported 40,803 confirmed cases and 4,542 deaths, a toll far greater than neighbouring countries and described by Tegnell as “absolutely” too high. He stressed however that he was still unsure which added measures would have made a difference. “It would be good to know more precisely what you should shut down to better prevent a spread of the infection,” he said. Schools have remained open to under-16s. Cafes, bars and restaurants and most businesses have also stayed open. People have been urged to work from home, limit contacts, practise social distancing and wash hands frequently. The public is expected to follow the recommendations, but they are not legally binding.