Sweden has had a record 170 new coronavirus deaths today following the low numbers reported over the Easter weekend.
The country is still refusing to lock down like most of the rest of the world in spite of the jumping coronavirus mortality rate of 1,203.
However, the dramatic number was expected by the country’s officials as only 29 deaths had been recorded over the Easter weekend, leaving many unaccounted for, given the Swedish average of 94 daily deaths over the week.
Spain, for example, has typically seen a rise in reported new cases on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, once the weekend has been fully accounted for.
In spite of its lax laws and lack of hard social distancing measures, Sweden is doing relatively well compared to most other European countries.
It currently has around 12,000 confirmed cases and 1,203 deaths, compared to the UK that has marginally more dead from coronavirus than Sweden has cases.
Swedish schools and non-essential businesses are still open as usual, however, the light touch policy from the Swedish government is under fire from a growing number of its own medical professionals.
A group of 22 doctors, virologists and researchers criticized the Public Health Agency in an op-ed published by Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Tuesday.
They accused it of having failed to draw up a proper strategy, pointing out that the mortality rate in Sweden was now way above that of its Nordic neighbors.
There is also skepticism over the number of foreign-born deaths, that the government has refused.
Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven has however conceded that preparedness has not been good enough.
Around 5,000 of the country’s 11,927 cases are in the Stockholm region, official figures show, although the true figure may be higher.
Random sampling carried out by the public health agency suggests that at least 2.5 percent of Stockholm residents may already have been infected, implying a much higher figure around 60,000.
The 1,203 deaths are made up of 686 men and 517 women, reflecting a pattern elsewhere which has been widely noted but is little understood.
Experts have suggested poor hygiene, smoking rates and a stronger female immune system as possible reasons why men appear to be more susceptible in general.
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