STOCKHOLM – The King of Sweden says his country has failed Dealing with Covid-19, In sharp criticism of the epidemic policy, which is partly blamed for the high death toll among the elderly.
“I think we failed,” the king said in an excerpt from a program aired on SVT on Wednesday. Full show begins December 21.
Carl XVI Gustaf, whose son and daughter-in-law tested positive last month, used an annual Royal Christmas TV show to highlight the growing impact of the virus, in a rare intervention from a monarch whose duties are largely ceremonial.
Sweden distinguished itself from most countries By avoiding lock-ups and face masks, Leaving schools, restaurants and businesses largely open and relying primarily on voluntary social distancing and hygiene recommendations to slow the spread.
An official committee said on Tuesday that systemic deficiencies in elderly care coupled with insufficient procedures by the government and agencies have contributed to the high death toll in Sweden, especially in nursing homes.
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“We have had a lot of deaths and this is horrific. This is something that brings us all suffering.”
Sweden has recorded more than 7,800 deaths, which is much higher per capita than its northern neighbors but lower than that of Britain, Italy, Spain and France, all of which have opted for lockdowns.
The 74-year-old monarch has no formal political authority and rarely comments on current and political issues, although he has addressed the nation to offer encouragement during the outbreak.
In the spring, the government’s response to the pandemic was widely supported by Swedes who continued to operate normally while most of Europe went into lockdown.
But the high death toll – particularly among elderly nursing home residents – has drawn mounting criticism.
A poll in the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursday showed that nearly a third of Swedes expressed a high level of confidence in the authorities’ handling of the epidemic, down from 42 percent in March and higher to 56 percent after the summer lull in infections.