Pro-lockdown Germany had more excess deaths than sceptical Sweden

Sajid Javid reacts to scrapping of coronavirus restrictions

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New statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that lockdown-free Sweden had fewer excess deaths than Germany. The data challenges the narrative that countries that imposed the strictest coronavirus restrictions on their citizens saved the most lives. The latest estimates of excess deaths during the pandemic, produced by the WHO, have shown that nations like Sweden that imposed very few restrictions, had fewer excess deaths from the pathogen than nations that imposed strict lockdown conditions.

Sweden did not follow the rest of Europe into lockdown in the spring of 2020.

The Scandinavian nation, unlike its neighbours, imposed much lighter restrictions.

When most Europeans were forbidden from leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse Swedes were free to go to bars, restaurants, cafés and shops.

The nation’s schools remained open for all pupils under 16.

Large gatherings were banned, but the Swedish government largely relied on trusting the public to follow the guidance.

The nation did not impose social isolation by decree.

In the face of their less aggressive stance on coronavirus, the global reaction to Sweden was relentlessly negative.

The New York Times repeatedly branded Sweden a “pariah state” because if its no-lockdown policy.

The nation was even labelled “the world’s cautionary tale”.

The UK’s Guardian, which was once a fan of Swedish social democracy, denounced the Nordic nation as being a ‘model’ nation for right-wingers.

The Guardian branded Sweden’s coronavirus policy as “deadly folly”.

Proponents of strict lockdown declared that Swedes had opted to “live free and die”.

However, the WHO’s excess-death estimates paint a different picture.

Sweden experienced some of the lowest excess-death rates in the EU between January 2020 and January 2022.

ITV’s political editor, Robert Peston, said he finds it “striking” that the UK “no longer seems to have had the worst death rate among richer countries”.

The UK was found to have had fewer excess deaths than many other developed countries.

This was contrary to mass media in other nations that pushed the narrative that the UK was top of the list when it came to the coronavirus death rate.

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