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“I think if we are to reach a new normal, I think in many ways Sweden represents a future model of — if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” Dr. Mike Ryan said while speaking to reporters from Geneva.
Ryan, who serves as executive director of WHO”s Emergencies Program, praised Sweden’s health care system and credited it with making all the right moves from the beginning of the outbreak.
“They’ve been doing the testing, they’ve ramped up their capacity to do intensive care quite significantly,” he added. “And their health system has always remained within its capacity to respond to the number of cases that they’ve been experiencing.”
Ryan claimed the backlash Sweden has faced for its seemingly lax policies on social distancing is an unfair criticism.
“Sweden has put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting for people in long term care facilities and many other things,” he said.
“What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of citizens to implement physical distancing and to self-regulate.”
Sweden’s population of over 10 million people saw an unsettling jump in its death rate 10 days ago when it increased from 29 to 1,540. It currently stands at 2,355 as of Wednesday, according to the WHO.
Sweden’s totals still remain low in comparison with the rest of Europe, as countries such as Italy, the U.K., Spain and France have all experienced more than 24,000 fatalities.
Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report
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