Sweden to start lockdowns…

Sweden to start lockdowns…

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Sweden is debating bringing in local lockdowns in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19, according to reports – having resisted the measure for months.

The number of cases has risen dramatically in the past fortnight, with 970 confirmed on Thursday – the highest since June.

The country’s approach to the pandemic has been controversial, with businesses and schools staying open throughout, although citizens have been advised to observe social distancing rules.

But according to the Johns Hopkins University, which measures worldwide data on the pandemic, the country now has the 12th highest death rate in the world, with 58.4 per 100,000 people.

This is 10 times the figure in neighbouring Norway and Finland, although slightly lower than the UK’s 64.1 per 100,000.

The country has not closed down businesses, relying instead on citizens to show common sense (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Sweden, which has a population of just over 10 million, has recorded 5,918 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Now authorities are pushing for local lockdowns amid mounting questions over the country’s approach.

Johan Nojd, who heads the infectious diseases department in the city of Uppsala, told  The Telegraph : “It’s more of a lockdown situation – but a local lockdown.”

From tomorrow, health authorities are reportedly set to ask people to stay away from shopping centres, gyms, libraries and museums.

Local lockdowns are now finally being considered (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Despite increasing urgency from health officials, these restrictions will not be legally enforceable, there will be no fines.

Bitte Brastad, chief legal officer at Sweden’s public health agency, described the move as “something in between regulations and recommendations”.

But experts warn it could be followed by further measures.

Senior epidemiologist Anders Wallensten claimed the country has “some immunity as a consequence of how we have managed” but denied that “herd immunity” had always been the goal.

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