Sweden is an exception in Europe, but that may soon change. The Scandinavian country, which claimed to be spared from the coronavirus pandemic, is one of the few to have refused confinement. But in one week, the number of deaths from the coronavirus was almost multiplied by three, reaching 700 dead for around 8,500 cases, according to the last official report given on Wednesday.
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"We are convinced that people take responsibility"
What alerts Swedes are comparisons with neighboring countries. Compared to the number of inhabitants, Finland, Denmark or Norway, which have all taken containment measures, fared much better. In Norway, the government has announced that the epidemic is "under control" after lamenting 93 deaths.
But for the moment, the containment of the population is not topical in Sweden. "We are doing much the same things as many other countries, but in a different way. We are convinced that people take responsibility," said Foreign Minister Ann Linde, interviewed by the channel on Wednesday. private TV4.
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A strategy reminiscent of that of Great Britain
In Sweden, the center-left government has indeed chosen another strategy to fight the virus: that of trust in the population. The authorities call for "everyone's responsibility" but in reality, only gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, as well as visits to retirement homes. Otherwise, the bars are open, schools and colleges too. Telework is only "encouraged" and travel "not recommended".
Sweden is therefore very far from the drastic measures taken in the rest of Europe. At the start of the epidemic, Britain had chosen a similar strategy, before quickly tightening the containment for fear of seeing the situation escape it.