HALF of Sweden’s population could be infected with the coronavirus by the end of the month, an expert has claimed.
Daily life is carrying on as normal despite the rest of Europe being in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with pubs, schools, restaurants and cinemas all still open.
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Sweden has so far seen 4,947 cases of the coronavirus and 239 deaths as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a sharp rise in the death toll, the government has finally closed all ski resorts and advised the elderly to stay at home to limit the spread of coronavirus after concerned medics spoke out.
Now Professor Tom Britton, from Stockholm University, who works with models of how infectious diseases behave in a population, has issued a dire warning.
“This is such an infectious disease that over half of Sweden's population will be infected before the end of April,” reports Svt.se.
“After that, the spread of infection will not stop, but it will go slightly slower so that about two-thirds will be infected by the end of May.”
The relaxed approach has caused consternation in its Scandinavian neighbours – Denmark, Finland, and Norway.
They have all introduced a no-nonsense lockdown strategy, closing schools, workplaces and borders weeks ago.
“Watching Sweden is a bit like watching a horror movie, we fear it will go bad because it is so very open in Sweden and here it is more closed,” Danish journalist Lisbeth Davidsen told Swedish TV4.
The relaxed measures have raised alarm in Sweden’s country's medical community.
A petition signed by more than 2,000 doctors, scientists, and professors has now called on the government to get tough and tighten restrictions.
“We’re not testing enough, we’re not tracking, we’re not isolating enough – we've let the virus loose,” said Prof Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, a virus expert at the Karolinska Institute.
“They are leading us to catastrophe.”
PM Stefan Lofven has tightened restrictions in recent days – limiting gatherings to 50 – but insists there is still no need to follow the herd.
His Social Democratic government has argued citizens can be trusted to act responsibly and will stay indoors if they experience any symptoms.
“We all, as individuals, have to take responsibility. We can't legislate and ban everything. It is also a question of common sense.
“We who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumours. No one is alone in this crisis, but each person has a heavy responsibility.”
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