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Sweden to impose partial lockdown

Posted November. 13, 2020 07:40,   

Updated November. 13, 2020 07:40


Sweden will impose partial lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is thought that Sweden, which had sought “herd immunity” that relies on voluntary social distancing amid concerns of the violation of privacy and economic slowdown, is moving away from voluntary measures in order to avoid a second wave.

According to The Associated Press, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said sales of alcohol after 10 p.m. would be banned for three months starting from November 20 through to February 2021. “All the indicators are pointing in the wrong direction,” he said. “We risk ending up in the situation we had last spring.” The new measures mean all businesses with a license to serve alcohol must close by 10:30 p.m. and care home residents will not be allowed to receive visits.

Prime Minster Lofven said recommendations on social distancing and gatherings had not been followed, warning that the healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. He said stricter measures such as a limit on public gatherings could be introduced.

Unlike most European countries that adopted strict measures such as restrictions on movement and closure of shops in April and May, Sweden opted for “herd immunity” where the majority of a population become immune to an infection through previous infections. The government came under fire when deaths per one million reached 450, the highest in the world, in June. Research suggests only 17 percent of the Swedish population have antibodies even in its capital Stockholm, compared to at least 50 percent that is required to achieve herd immunity.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com