SWEDEN - Strict New Rules Amid Rising Coronavirus Cases

Arno Froese

After opting against lockdown measures throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden is said to be shifting strategies toward the kinds of restrictive measures adopted by most of its neighbors.

Unlike its Nordic neighbors and most other countries, Sweden did not deploy wholesale lockdown measures in response to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

Instead, the government led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven allowed shops, bars, and restaurants to remain mostly open and students to attend school.

Sweden has recorded a much higher per capita death rate than its neighbors since adopting this strategy. It had recorded 5,918 deaths, compared with 278 in Norway and 346 in Finland.

Johan Nojd, who heads Uppsala’s infectious-diseases department, suggested that he would be prepared to introduce harsher restrictions for the city like new rules for hospitality if the number of cases in the city continued to grow.

Unlike in other countries, however, there are not expected to be fines or legal consequences for people who decide not to follow any new advice. Bitte Brastad, the chief legal officer at Sweden’s public-health agency, said the rules were “something in between regulations and recommendations.”

-www.businessinsider.com, 18 October 2020

Arno's commentary

Swedish authorities did not take the coronavirus seriously enough. This was also the case in Brazil and the USA. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports death by Covid-19 per 100,000 in population: Sweden 58.1, USA 67.3, Brazil 73.6. When comparing these figures to countries with strictly enforced shutdowns, mask usage, and prohibitions on mass gatherings, etc., the result is crystal clear: Germany 11.8, Austria 10.2, Norway 5.2. Countries which took extreme measures fared even better: South Korea 0.87, New Zealand 0.51, and Taiwan 0.03.

Jehoshaphat prayed to God when judgment was approaching: “If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help” (2 Chronicles 20:9). Our prayer is for His church to practice peace.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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