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The Scandinavian country has stood out among European nations and others for the way it has long handled the pandemic. don’t require locks like others but relying instead on the sense of civic duty of citizens.
Winter has brought a big jump in coronavirus cases in Sweden after its controversial no-lock policy earlier this year. (Getty)

Nearly half of the COVID-19 deaths in the country have occurred in nursing homes.

The head of the commission, Mats Melin, said the blame for structural deficiencies in Sweden’s health system could be attributed to various authorities and organizations.

“But we still want to say that the government rules the country and that therefore the ultimate responsibility lies with the government and previous governments,” Melin said.

Sweden has seen a large increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. An official report has criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic. (AP)

While the Swedish authorities reacted to the pandemic by advising people to practice social distancing, most of the schools, bars and restaurants have remained open.

However, the country of more than 10 million has seen 341,029 confirmed infections and 7,667 virus-related deaths, a far higher death toll than in neighboring Norway, Finland or Denmark.

Despite Sweden having one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, the government of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell have defended the controversial coronavirus strategy as sustainable in the long term.

However, they have admitted failures in their efforts to protect the elderly and residents of nursing homes.

Cafe and restaurant diners in Sweden have been urged to follow the eight-person-per-table rule amid rising coronavirus cases. (AP)

The commission’s report on Tuesday said Sweden’s Nordic neighbors paid more attention to caring for the elderly during the pandemic.

“In the other Nordic countries … the care of the elderly seems to have been more in the focus of the first pandemic measures by the authorities,” the report said.

Sweden’s strategy was also expected to prevent the country from a resurgence of the disease this fall, but earlier, Lofven said health officials misjudged the impact of the latest wave of the pandemic.

“I think most people in the profession did not see such a wave in front of them, they talked about different groups,” Lofven told the Swedish magazine. Aftonbladet Newspaper.

A sign on a trash can reads “Danger is not over. Keep your distance” on a pedestrian street in the center of Uppsala, Sweden. (AP)

Sweden has seen a rapid rise in new coronavirus infections that strained its health care system.

The virus has spread rapidly among medical personnel, forcing the government to back more restrictions, including a national ban on the sale of alcohol after 10pm in bars and restaurants.

Sweden has also imposed its strictest virus restrictions to date by banning public gatherings of more than eight people.


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