Swedish PM Self-Isolates as Nation Reports Coronavirus Surge

Sweden’s prime minister announced Thursday he has gone into protective self-isolation after a person close to him encountered someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. The country is experiencing an autumn surge of infections. From his Facebook account, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that on his doctor’s advice, he and his wife, Ulla, were self-isolating, even though they have no symptoms. He said it was “the only responsible thing to do in this situation.”  FILE – Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks during a news conference updating on the coronavirus situation, at the government headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Nov. 3, 2020.Lofven’s announcement came as Sweden’s Public Health Agency reported a record 4,034 new daily infections and five new deaths, putting Sweden’s total deaths at 6,002. In his post, Lofven said the new infections were clearly going in the wrong direction. Early in the pandemic, as other Nordic nations locked down to fight the virus, Sweden drew international attention by keeping schools, gyms and restaurants open and not requiring people to wear masks.  In recent weeks, as infections have risen, the government began implementing limits on the size of social gatherings, patrons in restaurants and on public transportation. They have also encouraged people to work from home if possible. Sweden’s per capita death rate of 0.7 is high compared to Nordic neighbors Norway and Finland, but relatively low next to other nations in Europe. 

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