Stockholm, November 18: Amid the growing chorus within Swedish political circles to impose a nationwide lockdown to reign in the second wave of pandemic, experts in the country have warned against such a measure. The imposition of hard shutdowns would only lead to a "financial harakiri", said Lund University's top professor, Lars Jonung. COVID-19 Tally in Europe Tops 15 Million Amid Surge in Infections Due to Second Wave of Pandemic.
Jonung, citing his ongoing research for the European Commission, said their study so far has suggested that lockdown plays no major role in averting the pandemic. The strategy to keep citizens locked up at their residences cannot be used to steer through the COVID-19 crisis, he said.
In case of a hard lockdown, which brings economic activities to a ground still, the health crisis gets aggravated into an "economic crisis", Jonung claimed.
"My hope is that despite this new wave, politicians have learned that we cannot get out of the problems through lockdowns. Instead, we must accept that the economy should work as well as possible and it does so with a minimum of shutdowns", Jonung told Swedish national broadcaster SVT.
"We are still in the midst of the pandemic. The research is ongoing, but so far it has provided little support for lockdowns", Jonung said, citing the example of France, Spain, and the UK where the death toll continues to escalate despite a strict set of restrictions in place.
Sweden, which resisted from imposing a hard lockdown even during the peak of COVID-19 in April-May, is now considering to slap restrictions akin to that enacted by the countries of Central and Western Europe. The entire continent has been hit by a second wave of the pandemic. A spike in daily COVID-19 ase count of 6,743 was reported in the country on November 13. The overall tally has jumped to 192,500, including 6,225 deaths.