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Swedish COVID-19 response chief predicts local outbreaks, no big second wave

Sweden is likely to see local outbreaks but no big second wave of COVID-19 cases in the autumn, such as inundated hospitals a few months ago, the country’s top epidemiologist and architect if its unorthodox pandemic strategy said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A sign assures people that the bar is open during the coronavirus outbreak, outside a pub in Stockholm, Sweden March 26, 2020. Picture taken March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Colm Fulton/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) –

Sweden has been an outlier in Europe’s fight against the novel coronavirus, keeping businesses, restaurants and most schools open throughout the pandemic, while not recommending the use of face masks, which remain a rare sight on city streets.

Per capita, Sweden has suffered many times more COVID-19 deaths than its Nordic neighbours, though not quite as many as Europe’s worst-hit countries such as Belgium, Spain and Britain.

New cases, hospitalisations and mortality have fallen sharply over the past couple of months. With most Swedes having returned from summer vacations and schools reopening last week for the new semester, there are concerns the country could see a second wave of infections.

“We don’t believe we’ll have a classic second wave, such as those seen in influenza pandemics where you get widespread contagion…

Reuters Editorial

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