Is Sweden an oasis of freedom in a desert of COVID restrictions? - DW News.

Most European countries have been relying on lockdowns, masks and travel bans to keep coronavirus cases down. But Sweden has taken a different path, as its top epidemiologist doesn't agree with lockdowns. That's turned the country into an oasis of freedom. Health authorities are urging people to remain vigilant – but will they listen?
Sweden has been experiencing some of the highest, if not the highest, numbers of new coronavirus infections in Europe. At the same time, it has perhaps the fewest binding regulations on public behavior. Teri Schultz visited Stockholm to find out the calculus of the man in charge of making the rules.
In Sweden, unlike many other EU countries, the national health authorities and not the government make the rules.
The country is seen as the land of sweet liberty for those chafing against coronavirus closures, curfews and mandatory masks.
While most of Europe has been in various stages of lockdown over the last year, Swedes have been skiing, shopping, dining and drinking.
"Restrictions" in Swedish restaurants mean giving customers space and closing at 8 pm.
The architect of this model is state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.
But Tegnell's "different way" has seen Sweden record a far higher death toll than its closest neighbors, Finland and Norway, a comparison he rejects. 
But Sweden's care homes in particular were hit hard last year and still now, hospitals warn intensive care units are nearly overwhelmed.
In December even the king said he thought the strategy had failed. But Tegnell stands by his recommendations. He says the only problem with them is that people don't follow them.
Take masks, for example. Tegnell doesn't believe they're very effective, so on public transportation, passengers are urged but not required to mask up during rush hours. Few appear to do so.
Some feel that's a failure of the government's COVID-19 communications strategy, at least.
Journalism professor Christian Christiansen says the lax approach to mask-wearing exposes inequalities in Swedish society, endangering especially minorities.
A new emergency law gives the government temporary power to impose a lockdown but it hasn't been used.
While polls show some Swedes have lost faith in their country's approach, Gustav Lloyd Agerblad isn't one of them. He still trusts in Anders Tegnell.
Agerblad's support isn't likely to fade quickly. Last year,he immortalized the epidemiologist on his epidermis.

Subscribe: www.youtube.com/user/deutschewelleenglish?sub_confirmation=1

For more news go to: www.dw.com/en/
Follow DW on social media:
►Facebook: www.facebook.com/deutschewellenews/
►Twitter: twitter.com/dwnews
►Instagram: www.instagram.com/dwnews
Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie: www.youtube.com/dwdeutsch

#Sweden #Coronavirus #AndersTegnell

Watch video on channel "DW News"
Reporters Without Borders: Press freedoms under pressure in pandemic - DW News.

Reporters Without Borders: Press freedoms under pressure in pandemic - DW News.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased repression and attacks on journalism worldwide, a report published on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) concluded. Reporting on coronavirus developments has been restricted in countries ac...

Reporters Without Borders: Press freedoms under pressure in pandemic - DW News.

Reporters Without Borders: Press freedoms under pressure in pandemic - DW News.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased repression and attacks on journalism worldwide, a report published on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) concluded. Reporting on coronavirus developments has been restricted in countries ac...

India: New Delhi locks down as COVID cases surge - DW News.

India: New Delhi locks down as COVID cases surge - DW News.

The capital is the worst-hit city in India, with new infections threatening to overload the health care system. Total infections have now passed the 15 million mark — approaching the number in the United States, the world's worst-hit country. A to...

Closing arguments at Chauvin trial in Floyd death - DW News.

Closing arguments at Chauvin trial in Floyd death - DW News.

In US state of Minnesota, the trial of a former police officer charged with killing George Floyd is wrapping up. After hearing closing statements from the prosecution and defense, the jury will have to decide whether Derek Chauvin is guilty of sec...

China flexes muscles over Taiwan - DW News

China flexes muscles over Taiwan - DW News

Chinese military aircraft have entered Taiwan's air defense zone multiple times in recent weeks - raising tensions in the region and increasing pressure on Taiwan to respond. The Biden administration has thrown its weight behind Taipei - sending e...