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Sweden’s coronavirus herd immunity plan ‘vindicated’ as just 1.3% of residents test positive despite no lockdown

0 4 months ago

SWEDEN’S coronavirus policy which favoured “herd immunity” over a national lockdown was justified experts say.

The claims come after it emerged only 1.2 per cent of people tested for Covid-19 actually have the disease — compared to the pandemic peak when 19 per cent tested positive.

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AFP – Getty

Sweden never went into lockdown but has seen its cases plummet[/caption]

So far the nation has recorded 5,838 deaths due to Covid-19 — the fifth-highest rate per capita in Europe .

But new infection numbers have been plummeting since June.

Director of Swedish public health Johan Carlson, who was a leading figure behind the herd immunity policy instead of lockdown, said it appeared now to have worked. 

He said: “Our strategy was consistent and sustainable.

“We probably have a lower risk of [the virus] spreading than other countries.”

Whereas many countries have changing rules and lockdown restrictions, Prof Carlson said the Sweden’s guidelines were designed to be easy to understand and retain for an extended period.

Jonas Ludvigsson, professor of epidemiology at Karolinska Institute, said:  “Our strategy has been consistent and sustainable.

“We probably have a lower risk of spreading here compared to other countries.”

The professor added that Sweden likely had a higher level of immunity in the population than most countries.

“I think we benefit a lot from that now,” he said.

Sweden’s government aimed to “solve the crisis with as few negative consequences as possible for people’s lives and health”.

Rather than carry out a strict lockdown, it issued numerous guidelines to help people through the coronavirus pandemic such as staying home if they were ill, washing hands and social distancing.

But it says that its general guidelines were not binding and only a recommendation.

The Swedish Government did, however, ban all public gatherings and events with more than 50 people.

But no businesses have been shut down, as Sweden wanted to limit the impact on its economy.

It comes as business leaders in the UK are pleading with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to avoid a second lockdown.

Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs said: “With UK case numbers at a fraction of where they were back in March, a second lockdown would be catastrophic and should be avoided.

“Sweden has shown us a more sensible way to balance risk, liberty and the economy. 

“The Government’s justification for the nationwide lockdown in March was to protect the NHS. 

“After six months of preparation, it is very unlikely that the NHS will be overwhelmed by a second wave.”

Rex Features

Swedes are advised to wear mask but it is not compulsory[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Pubs and bars have been open throughout[/caption]

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