Sweden has highest COVID-19 mortality rate among Scandinavian countries as it resists lockdown

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, understanding how the differences in each countries response to the situation affected the outcome of the spread of the disease will play a vital role in handling the situation as it moves forward and in handling future epidemics, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “In stark contrast to its neighboring countries where strict social isolation measures were enforced, Sweden has elected to adopt a more hands-off approach to the COVID-19 pandemic; choosing to only quarantine those most at risk and to allow the disease to run its natural course in the country. In comparison, Denmark was the second country in Europe to enforce a nationwide lockdown, with Norway doing so a day later. Similarly, Finland imposed a lockdown that included closing its border shortly thereafter.”

As a result of each countries chosen strategy, Sweden has a mortality rate of 215.2 deaths per 1,000,000 population, while Norway has a death rate of 39.8 and Finland a rate of 35.4 deaths per 1,000,000 population. Comparing the rate of death in these Fenno-Scandinavian countries provides a unique opportunity to capture differences in COVID-19 response.

Lemetyinen adds: “It is now highly evident that those countries that were quick to adopt strong measures of social isolation, distancing, and testing have seen the best possible outcomes in this crisis in terms of mortality prevention so far.”

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