Sweden captured attention for its relaxed approach to containing the spread of COVID-19 this year.
Social distancing was encouraged, but shops and restaurants stayed open, those younger than 16 continued to go to school and borders stayed open to European visitors.
That helped the economy continue to grow in the first quarter, unlike many other nations. But, with some data showing Sweden had the highest per capita death rate in the world last week, the architect of the country’s strategy says it might have been a mistake.
Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said there is “potential for improvement” in the government’s no-lockdown strategy, suggesting a more effective policy might have been somewhere between what Sweden opted for and the strict restrictions other nations imposed.
Tegnell’s comments are an about-face: For months, he’s insisted his nation’s approach was more sustainable.