1. As soon as Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, most countries imposed lockdown procedures as the obvious step to counter the spread of the virus. But Sweden chose to go down the path of self-imposed social precaution without state regulation.

2. This meant that flights were not stopped, national borders were not sealed, no one was forced to stay home, restaurants, public transport, malls, cinema, and salons were open. All the Swedish government did was recommend social distancing for everyone and requested citizens above 70 years of age to stay home.

3. The police were given no powers to stop and question or impose fines even if any citizen violated advisories and restrictions. The aim behind this approach was to place the onus on the citizens and their responsibility through self-discipline.

4. The only restrictions placed were on the gatherings of 50 or more people. Schools and universities were shut and turned virtual.

5. The strategy of Sweden in adopting limited restriction, but not a total lockdown was implemented on the advice of the state epidemiologist, Andres Tegnell who said that there was no need for a  nationwide lockdown.

6. The aim was to reach herd immunity for its population from the coronavirus. Herd immunity is when a large part of the population of an area is immune to a specific disease. If enough people are resistant to the virus, it will have nowhere to go.

7. However, now senior civil servants of Sweden have admitted that the model had gone wrong. The country has had over 80,000 Covid-19 cases and 5000 deaths in a population of just one crore. This is despite Sweden being 30 times richer than India and with a much lower population density.

8. While the initial mathematical calculations for Sweden’s strategy were made based on previous epidemics and diseases, Covid-19 is certainly not like any of them. There are still discoveries happening in relation to it.

Topics #Coronavirus #Coronavirus Lockdown #COVID-19 lockdown #Covid19 #Pandemic