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Sweden has just 13 Covid patients in intensive care and only one death per day despite no lockdown

SWEDEN now has just 13 coronavirus patients in intensive care and an average of one death per day.

The news comes despite the country’s controversial decision not to introduce a lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

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Sweden opted to stick with the “herd immunity” strategy first pursued by Downing Street and allow the virus to partially spread through its population.

The approach initially saw its infection rate rise far above that in countries where lockdowns were imposed, but authorities argued it would be easier to maintain in the long-term.

In place of a lockdown, Swedes have been encouraged to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines, with bars, restaurants and shops allowed to remain open throughout.

The country is now seeing just a few hundred cases diagnosed per day, while others are seeing infection rates begin to rise as lockdowns are lifted.

The rate of people in intensive care in Sweden now works out at just 1.3 people per million population.

The country’s overall death toll of 5,843 does give it the sixth-highest per capita death rate in Europe, with only Belgium, Andorra, Spain, the UK, and Italy faring worse.

But it has seen an average of only one death per day over the last ten days and a total of only 79 deaths since the start of August.

Speaking at a press conference last week, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said: “Sweden has gone from being one of the countries with the most infection in Europe, to one of those with the least infection in Europe.

“Many other countries have seen a rather dramatic increase.

“What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually.

“And then we also hope that the result will be more stable.”

Elsewhere in Europe, daily case counts have risen as restrictions on movement have been lifted.

In the UK, around 2,000 people are currently being diagnosed per day, just under half the level during the peak in April, though more people are being tested.

Last Friday saw France record 8,975 cases, exceeding its previous one-day record count of 7,578, set on March 31.

Spain similarly saw cases rise again during August, registering 9,052 positive tests on August 21.

Sweden yesterday saw 204 people test positive, far below its June 24 peak of 1,698.

The BBC did report last month, however, that studies suggest similar levels of antibodies – which help provide immunity to a virus – in the populations of Sweden and the UK.

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