Sweden’s COVID-19 Approach ‘Has Failed,’ King Carl XVI Gustaf Says

Swedish King Carl XIV Gustaf said on Dec. 17 that his country’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic “has failed.”

Swedish King Carl XIV Gustaf said on Dec. 17 that his country’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic “has failed.”

“I think we have failed. We have a large number who have died and that is terrible. It is something we all suffer with,” the king told Swedish national public broadcaster Sveriges Television.

“The Swedish people have suffered enormously in difficult conditions. Lately, it has felt more obvious, it has crept closer and closer. That’s not what you want,” the king also said.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven agreed with the king’s remarks, telling reporters that “the fact that so many have died can’t be considered as anything other than a failure.”

The king’s comments came after an independent commission released an official report last Dec. 15 that said that the Swedish government failed to protect the elderly in care homes from the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to high death rates.

“We want to say that it is the government that rules the country and has the ultimate responsibility,” head of the commission Mats Melin said at a news conference.

“The government should have taken measures to ensure the elderly care was better equipped to deal with the pandemic,” Melin also said.

Admitting responsibility, the government said that people aged 70 and over made up 90% of COVID-19 deaths.

The government has never imposed a full nationwide lockdown — wearing of masks was not required and most schools and businesses remained open. Instead, the government relied on its citizens’ sense of civic duty and on recommendations without sanctions if ignored.

According to the World Health Organization, Sweden has recorded 6,971 new cases on Dec. 17, bringing the total to 348,585 cases. The total number of deaths is at 7,802.


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