Between January and June this year, 51,405 deaths were registered — more than 6,500 fatalities (or 15%) over the same period in 2019.
This is the highest number of deaths in Sweden during the first half of the year since 1869, when the country was struck by famine and 55,431 people died.
The country also experienced the lowest population increase since 2005, with a surplus figure of 6,860 in 2020 that was less than half that of the previous year.
Immigration figures saw a reduction of 34.7% from the same period in 2019, with the figures primarily dropping in the second quarter between April and June.
By early June, the country’s coronavirus death toll was at more than 4,500. According to Johns Hopkins University, it now stands at 5,802.
But he told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “There are things that we could have done better but in general I think that Sweden has chosen the right way.”
“I know that the death toll is very high. It’s not extremely high if you compare it to countries like Belgium, Netherlands, or UK, which are countries which in many ways have a much more similar epidemic than our neighboring Nordic countries.
“There is really no proof that saved people in long-term care facilities in Sweden.”
He said that when the authorities saw the problems in care homes, advice was distributed and cases dropped quickly and were now almost at zero.
“Face masks can be a complement to other things when other things are safely in place. But to start with having face masks and then think you can crowd your buses or your shopping malls — that’s definitely a mistake,” he added.
Nearly 50% of the country’s economy is largely built on exporting goods overseas, and the global crisis has destroyed international demand.
Sweden’s economy is predicted to contract by more than 5% with hundreds of thousands losing jobs.