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Is a lockdown necessary? Approaches of different countries

Sweden’s COVID death rate now lower than Spain, Italy, and UK despite no lockdown approach

Data from Sweden is showing a downward trend in new cases and new deaths, says Soo Kim in this report written for Newsweek last August 3, 2020. 

Compared to UK, Spain, and Italy, three of the worst hit countries in Europe, Sweden’s death rate per 100,000 people is lower, at 56.40. Meanwhile, UK reported a death rate of 69.60 per 100,000 people, Spain at 60.88, and Italy at 58.16. 

Sweden’s case fatality rate (CFR) is also lower at 7.1% compared to while UK’s 15.1%, Italy and Belgium’s 14.2%, and France’s 13.4%. Sweden’s rolling six day average is currently at two (2) on August 2, compared to 99 in April. Moreover, Sweden has reported a drop of 46% in its new infections, while other European countries are showing a rise in infection cases. 

Editor’s Note: With five months of pandemic experience to base from, we can now assess the effectiveness of lockdowns, as well as Sweden’s no-lockdown approach. We have published on this website a number of articles showing that lockdowns failed, and that it made no difference to the number of infection cases [see Science Has Spoken: End The Lockdown]. But this new article from Newsweek shows us a new dimension of lockdowns that was not highlighted before – the reality that by locking down, countries were only pushing the eventual increase of cases farther into the future. 

As Sweden has utilized the expertise of epidemiologists and health professionals, it understood early on the need for collective immunity. And though their approach was never to let the virus run rampant without intervention, the country’s health experts prioritized boosting the health sector’s capacity, and protecting those who are most vulnerable. 

The country is now reaping the benefits of sound science. Meanwhile, in other European countries that opted to lockdown, despite no proof of its benefits, continue to grapple with increasing infection cases, and the gripping panic of its people. 

We stress however, that the problem with the handling of the pandemic goes beyond that of lockdowns. There is the problem of using RT-PCR tests for identifying infections, as well as how cases and deaths are being reported. Read No Need To Panic Over Infection Numbers: Deaths Continue To Decrease to understand better.

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