Is Sweden right?

Nordics react in different ways to coronavirus.

The World Today Published 1 June 2020 Updated 28 September 2020 2 minute READ

Nairomi Eriksson

Former Coordinator, Communications and Publishing

In the three months since the coronavirus outbreak reached Scandinavia, Sweden has become a country at odds with the rest. Through a public health stance based on cooperation and social responsibility rather than enforcement, the Swedes have set themselves apart during the pandemic.

Nordic countries reported their first confirmed cases of COVID-19 during February, and in mid-March governments put measures in place to limit the spread of the virus. All schools in Denmark, Finland and Norway were closed, as well as most shops and restaurants. Finland declared a state of emergency and put the capital under quarantine for two weeks.

As European countries compare coronavirus-related deaths per million, Denmark with 96, Finland with 55 and Norway with 43 have all been relatively effective in keeping the numbers down so far. Sweden by contrast has a toll of 379.

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