While the rest of Europe went into lockdown, Sweden decided to try something different. The Swedes chose not to lockdown their economy and, instead, try to develop 'herd immunity' by allowing the public to contract the virus.
Just 7.3% of Stockholm’s inhabitants had developed Covid-19 antibodies by the end of April, according to a study, raising concerns that the country’s light-touch approach to the coronavirus may not be helping it build up broad immunity.
The research by Sweden’s public health agency comes as Finland warned it would be risky to welcome Swedish tourists after figures suggested the country’s death rate per capita was the highest in Europe over the seven days to 19 May.Swedish health authorities were expecting that 25 per cent of the population would have Covid-19 antibodies by the end of April. What they mainly got was a high death rate.
Björn Olsen, a professor of infectious medicine at Uppsala University, said herd immunity was a “dangerous and unrealistic” approach. “I think herd immunity is a long way off, if we ever reach it,” he told Reuters after the release of the antibody findings.
While the overall coronavirus death rate per million is greater in Italy (535), Spain (597) or the UK (538), Sweden’s (376) is far in advance of Norway’s (44), Denmark’s (96) and Finland’s (55) – countries with similar welfare systems and demographics, but which imposed strict lockdowns.As of today, Canada has the 12th highest infection rate of 143 countries monitored at just under 166
deaths per million. Not a great record, especially not for a northern nation.