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Sweden asks citizens to continue distance working to contain pandemic

Published : 31 Jul 2020, 02:17

  DF News Desk

File Photo: City of Helsinki by Matti Snellman.

The Swedish Public Health Agency on Thursday called on citizens to continue working from home in autumn to reduce the spread of COVID-19, reported Xinhua.

"We will continue to recommend that you work from home during the autumn, if possible. But those who have to go to work can do it," Anders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency, which is in charge of advising national pandemic policies, said during a press conference.

Such advice came as thousands of Swedes now return to work after their summer holidays -- many of which were made domestically this year -- as some of their popular tourist destinations in Europe and their Scandinavian neighbors do not welcome the pandemic-ridden Swedes.

Though the pandemic situation has improved in recent weeks, the agency expects that the spread of infection will continue during autumn and the risk of outbreaks is high.

The agency said that those who have to go to work must be able to do so without congestion and risk of infection in public transport.

The industry organizations in public transport will present next week a detailed document, which according to Tegnell, shall include operating half-full buses and trains.

"We believe that public transport can continue even in the autumn without an increased risk of infection, said Tegnell, adding that if there are other opportunities than public transport to get to work, people are advised to use them.

Sweden has so far counted 5,739 COVID-19 deaths and 80,100 infections in a population of over 10 million. Swedish Television statistics show that Sweden has 562.7 deaths per million, much higher than most of the severely affected countries in the world. Despite that, Sweden has neither imposed a lockdown -- even during the most severe period of the pandemic, nor asked people to wear masks in public, quoting lack of support in research.