Sweden Live Updates
- Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he was sticking with the government’s laxer policy response to the virus — amid unrelenting international scrutiny. “I think the strategy is holding up,” he told Aftonbladet. “People are taking responsibility, and it wouldn’t be sustainable to shut down the entire society.”
- There are lockdowns across much of Europe, but the more than 10 million people living in Sweden have been allowed to lead fairly normal lives, sending children to school, going to the gym and visiting restaurants.
- In a speech to the nation, the king of Sweden sought to express solidarity and at the same time rally people behind the government line that social distancing is vital to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Everyone in Sweden is urged to stay at home if they are at all sick (even a mild cough or sore throat), avoid non-essential travel within the country, work from home if possible, and avoid non-essential visits to elderly people or hospitals.
- The government has announced a new crisis package aimed at helping those whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. One of the key measures is a relaxation of the rules around who is eligible for unemployment insurance.
- People who are over 70 or belong to other risk groups should limit their social contact with other people, avoid public transport and avoid shopping in pharmacies, supermarkets or crowded places.
- A total of 239 people have died after testing positive for the new coronavirus in Sweden, with 4,974 confirmed cases as of the Public Health Agency’s daily press briefing at 2 pm on Wednesday.