Sweden on Thursday reported more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths, after gaining international attention for imposing softer lockdown measures than many of its hard-hit European neighbours.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden said it had recorded 3,040 deaths and 24,623 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country of some 10.3 million inhabitants.
But officials defended their strategy of not imposing strict stay-at-home measures, saying Sweden’s healthcare system still had spare capacity.
Sweden has not imposed the kind of extraordinary lockdown measures seen elsewhere in Europe, instead opting for an approach based on the “principle of responsibility”.
The Scandinavian country has kept schools open for children under the age of 16, along with cafes, bars, restaurants and businesses, while urging people to respect social distancing guidelines.