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Sweden may have avoided coronavirus second wave by not chopping and changing rules like the UK, country’s top doc says

SWEDEN may have avoided a second wave of deadly coronavirus by being consistent with its rules, the country’s top doctor has said.

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell believes Stockholm’s reluctance to chop and change its restrictions may have helped it beat the pandemic, unlike other European countries.

Sweden was initially slammed by other nations when it refused to impose a strict lockdown earlier this year.

While playing down reports that Swedes may have developed “herd immunity”, Tegnell said the differences between his country and the likes of Spain and the UK are clear.

He said: “I’m not sure that the level of immunity in Sweden and in Spain differs very much.

“I think the main difference between Sweden and many other countries is that we have had the same kind of restrictions and recommendations in place the whole time.

“And we have a really big adherence from the population to those recommendations.

“And that makes a difference, that makes us hopefully less susceptible to a second wave.”

Sweden’s much debated handling of the coronavirus saw primary and lower secondary schools remain open as well as bars, restaurants and sports clubs.

Dr Tegnell said the restrictions had to be as minimal as possible in order for them to be enforced for a sustained period of time.

However, despite not ruling out the possibility of a second wave in Sweden, he believes imposing strict restrictions and then lifting them does more harm than good.

He said: “Maybe we’ll have the same experience in a few weeks’ time, we’ll see, but as I said, I think the big difference is that Spain had a strict lockdown and then opened up again, and then you do get back to quite a lot spread of disease.”

Meanwhile, the country’s Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven , said the ban on gatherings of more than 50 will remain in place as a result of a spike in cases.

He also said crowds of more than 50 are still not allowed at sports matches, warning: “The crisis is not over, far from it.”

The PM added: “If we do the right thing now, we’re going to be glad we did it later, and if we do the wrong thing, we are going to suffer for it later.”

This comes after it was revealed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson consulted with Dr Tegnell before announcing the new measures laid out to tackle coronavirus in the UK.

And while the Tory leader has reimposed harsher restrictions on Brits, he has warned they will last for six months after consistently changing government advice.

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