There are now just two European countries still headed for the height of their coronavirus outbreaks. Sweden – widely criticized for having chosen a different pandemic strategy – and Poland both expect a greater rise in numbers.
A paper published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) compares the number of coronavirus cases reported during a 14-day period in countries across Europe. While many EU states have already passed their most damaging two weeks, the latest assessment shows that Sweden has not yet reached its peak.
The countries monitored by were reported to have an average of 20 new cases per 100,000 residents. However, Sweden recorded over 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and the number continues to grow.
The report, which now covers the period between December 31 and June 9, states that in most European countries, successful lockdown measures have reduced the infection rate by 80 percent since the pandemic’s peak in early April. Unlike its neighbors, Sweden kept much of the country’s public and social life open as coronavirus spread across the continent. The decision was criticized by many neighboring states and called unpredictable and risky. Indeed, the Scandinavian country recorded the world’s highest per capita death rate due to the virus by the end of May.
From June 15, the majority of Nordic and Baltic countries will open their borders. However, Sweden’s neighbors are cautious about lifting travel restrictions. Countries like Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands have already decided not to include Sweden in the border decision, due to the higher level of infection rate in the country.
Poland has so far reported 28,577 infections and 1,222 deaths. More than a thousand cases were registered last weekend alone. Warsaw was one of the first EU governments to start lifting restrictions, however, starting from mid-May.
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