It’s a Myth that Life Goes on as Normal in Sweden, Says Foreign Minister

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde held a press briefing on Friday to shed light on the country’s strategy for battling the coronavirus pandemic, and to dismiss what she called “the myth” that life is going on unaltered in Sweden.

“Sweden confronts the COVID-19 pandemic through recommendations and legally binding measures. The government has made a series of decisions that affect the whole society. It's a myth that life goes on as normal in Sweden,” Linde said.

"Many people stay at home and have stopped travelling, many business are collapsing, unemployment is expected to rise dramatically. There is no full lockdown of Sweden but many parts of Swedish society have shut down,” she added. 

The briefing was also attended by Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren, who said Sweden differed from other countries only in that it has not forced its citizens to stay home, counting on two-way trust and cooperation.

The officials’ comments come amid the rising global controversy concerning Sweden’s relatively relaxed strategy for dealing with the deadly pathogen. 

Sweden has hitherto reported more than 17,500 cases of the infection, with 2,152 deaths. 

By Elene Dzebisashvili

24 April 2020 18:20