Sweden just recorded the fewest daily cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic’s peak in March — all without a single lockdown.
The Scandinavian country, intensely criticized for not shuting down businesses and mandating masks nationwide, now has one of the lowest number of COVD-19 cases in Europe.
Its rolling seven-day average stood at 108 on Tuesday, its lowest number since March 13, The Daily Mail reported.
Just 1.2% of Sweden’s 120,000 tests last week were positive for the virus, data from their national health agency shows, according to The Guardian.
“According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Scandinavian country’s 14-day cumulative total of new cases was 22.2 per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, against 279 in Spain, 158.5 in France, 118 in the Czech Republic, 77 in Belgium and 59 in the UK, all of which imposed lockdowns this spring,” the UK paper wrote.
“We don’t have the resurgence of the disease that many countries have,” Anders Tegnell, the country’s chief epidemiologist and architect of its no-lockdown strategy, told broadcaster France-24 in an interview. “In the end, we will see how much difference it will make to have a strategy that’s more sustainable, that you can keep in place for a long time, instead of the strategy that means that you lock down, open up and lock down over and over again.”
“Sweden has gone from being the country with the most infections in Europe to the safest one,” Tegnell last week told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
“What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually,” Tegnell said. “And then we also hope that the result will be more stable.”
Tegnell has long taken a hard line, saying last month he saw “no point” in mandating masks in public across the country. “With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” Anders Tegnell said, according to Fortune.
“That Sweden has come down to these levels is very promising,” Tegnell told reporters in Stockholm last month. “The curves are going down and the curves for the seriously ill are beginning to approach zero.”