State epidemiologist: Less need for legal injunctions in Sweden's fight against Covid-19

2:31 min

Over 3,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Sweden and 92 of those who have contracted the coronavirus have died. "The crisis is not over," said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell on Friday and he urged Swedes to keep following the Public Health Agency's recommendations.

Asked if he could clarify what a recommendation from the Agency entails, Tegnell said there is a difference between legal injunctions and general advice:

I think what we are talking about here is the Swedish culture, how Swedes interpret recommendations from the authorities….I think most people see it as very clear advice on how to do this in the best possible manner… By contrast, if you use the Swedish word for 'shall', that means there is a legal obligation to do something and that’s why we use the word 'recommended' quite a lot.”

Tegnell added that there is a long tradition in Sweden of following authorities' advice, pointing to the country's high vaccination uptake as an example.

The official number of fatalities linked to the coronavirus grew markedly between Thursday and Friday – from 66 to 92. That is because the Stockholm region has now linked previous deaths in the capital to the new virus, Tegnell said. So far, a total 209 patients have been treated in Intensive Care Units in Sweden.

Listen to the report in full for a more detailed explanation of what a "strong recommendation" signals.