October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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COVID-19 prevalence | Sweden’s turnaround: mandatory masks and reduced tables

COVID-19 prevalence |  Sweden's turnaround: mandatory masks and reduced tables

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Mark Preel
France Media Agency

Although the complete closure of bars, restaurants and shops was not on the agenda, Prime Minister Stephen Lofven presented new tough measures and recommendations in the wake of the second wave. Living in this country with a population of only 10 million.

“Unfortunately, the situation is very serious,” Stephen Lofwen told a news conference.

“Christmas is coming […] A large committee will find some excuses to consider their invitation to a mulled wine or their Christmas party acceptable. This is a lie, and it is dangerous, “he warned, describing several actions.

The introduction of visitor gauges in shops and gyms, limiting tables to a maximum of four in restaurants, so far against eight people, and – yet symbolically – the recommendation to wear a mask on public transport, especially when the distance is not possible within hours.

Sweden has so far not recommended wearing a mask anywhere, this position has become very isolated in Europe and even in the world.

“We do not expect it to have a decisive impact, but it will have a positive impact on this particular situation,” said Johan Carlson, head of the Public Health Authority.

Immediately 8000 people died

The authority and primarily its chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnel argued that the mask did not exhibit effectiveness or had negative productive effects by giving a false sense of security.

Other measures announced Friday: Liquor sales will be banned after 8pm instead of 10pm and distance education in high schools will be extended until January 24th.

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With 100 deaths announced on Friday, the death toll from the second wave has crossed 2,000, bringing the total to 7,993 in a country of 10.3 million people.

While the death toll per million is slightly lower than in some European countries such as Italy, Spain or France, it is five to ten times higher than in other Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Denmark). .

On Thursday, the King of Sweden revived the debate on the “failure” of the Swedish strategy, but without explicitly targeting it.

“I believe we failed,” Carl XVI Gustaf said in an interview with public television SVT.

Following an increase in cases and deaths, the government already tightened its voice in mid-November, especially by restricting public events to a maximum of eight. Since then everyone has been called to attend only to members of their household.

Surprising recommendations such as continuing to send children to school when parents are carriers of the coronavirus have been dropped.

Contrary to popular belief, the Scandinavian nation never targeted collective immunity.

But its health officials have long predicted that high levels of pollution in the spring could make it more likely to have a recurrence of the infection in the long run.

A hypothesis based on a good summer record, but the current strong second wave is widely questioned.

What is in the Swedish strategy? On Friday, the Prime Minister again dismissed the idea of ​​detention, saying it would “burden” the population for a long time.

“Strict control will not have a long-term effect because people will not tolerate it,” he said.

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