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Sweden Boozes On As Oz, Other Nations Close Up

SYDNEY/STOCKHOLM: Not every nation across the globe is taking the very strict type of response to the coronavirus as Australia, France and Britain, to name a few. In free-thinking Sweden – free, that is to everyone except Julian Assange – the pubs remain open, as are restaurants, schools and many other social gatherings.

The government of Swedish PM Stefan Lofven still allows meeting of up to 500 people. Some universities have closed but most schools remain open.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has encouraged the relaxed approach but has also urged Swedish citizens to “behave as adults” and definitely not to spread “panic or rumours”. 

The facts, so far, are that Sweden has a population of a little over 10 million, just under half of the Australian population of 24.6 million.  So far, the Swedes have seen 2855 cases of virus infections, with 77 fatalities. That compares with Australia’s total – as of yesterday – of 5998 infections and 50 deaths. 

That appears to show that Australia is doing slightly better, especially in the coffin tallies. But at least the Swedes get to enjoy a convivial natter over the pilsner, as our picture on page 1 of the print version, shows.

The relaxed (so far) Swedish Government is expected to publish new figures two weeks from now. Until then, skal!

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