Sweden’s king on coronavirus strategy: ‘We have failed’

Sweden’s king said in a new address that the country’s strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19 has “failed” as the fatality count in the Scandinavian country continues to rise. 

Carl XVI Gustaf told residents of the country in his annual Christmas address that Sweden has suffered “enormously” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and it is “traumatic” that many loved ones of the nearly 8,000 people who have died from COVID-19 were unable to say goodbye to them in person. 

“I think we have failed. We have a large number who have died and that is terrible. It is something we all have to suffer with,” the king said in comments that were released on Thursday and will be broadcast in full on Monday, as translated by the Financial Times.

Sweden has resisted implementing a nationwide lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many of its fellow European nations. 

However, Swedish officials are reportedly considering implementing lockdowns as some of the country’s intensive care units reach capacity, The New York Times reported this week.  

Sweden has reported approximately 1,700 COVID-19 fatalities in the last month, compared to approximately 100 deaths each in Finland and Norway. The countries both have approximately half of Sweden’s population.

The king, asked if he was afraid of becoming infected with the coronavirus, said that “Lately, it has felt more noticeable. It has crept closer and closer. That’s not what you want,” according to the Financial Times. 

Sweden’s top infectious disease expert said late last month that the country has not seen evidence of herd immunity slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Herd immunity is the point at which a disease stops spreading widely through a population because enough individuals are immune to it, either via recovering from an infection or through vaccinations.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 herd immunity lockdowns Sweden

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