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Sweden rejects face masks as Covid cases soar, ICU beds fill Up

By: Bloomberg |

November 20, 2020 3:01:10 pm

Individuals stroll alongside the Drottninggatan procuring avenue in central Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday Nov. 10, 2020. (AP)

Sweden’s well being authorities reiterated their skepticism towards face masks on Thursday, regardless of proof that the is spreading quickly by the nation and placing extra folks into intensive care.

“We don’t see that we’re at a degree the place we would suggest common use of face masks on public transport,” Karin Tegmark Wisell, head of the Public Well being Company in Stockholm, informed reporters on Thursday. “Face masks shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not preserve a distance.”

The coverage has drawn sharp criticism from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Economics. It revealed an announcement earlier within the day in protection of masks.

“With a purpose to scale back transmission rapidly, we should always use all instruments at our disposal, and that features face masks and improved air flow,” Staffan Normark, microbiology professor and chairman of the Academy’s skilled group, stated in an announcement.

Sweden, which has a a lot increased loss of life fee than different Nordic international locations, has to this point averted a lockdown. The nation has as a substitute relied on voluntary measures in an effort to get Swedes to remain far sufficient aside to keep away from infecting one another.

Individuals move a restaurant in central Stockholm, Sweden, Thursday Nov. 12, 2020. (AP)

However the newest an infection charges present the technique is faltering, and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has stepped up his rhetoric to induce folks to do extra, or face a “actually darkish” winter with the virus.

On Thursday, the variety of coronavirus circumstances in Sweden soared above 200,000, and 6,340 have died after being contaminated with the virus. The variety of Covid-infected folks in intensive care beds doubled to 182 over the previous fortnight.

Earlier this week, Lofven took what he referred to as the “unprecedented” step of banning public gatherings of greater than eight folks. From Friday, no gross sales of alcohol can be permitted after 10 p.m.

The Academy says it helps the World Well being Group’s recommendation to put on masks, preserve rooms properly ventilated and preserve a bodily distance from different folks.

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