Swedish Scientist: 1M Coronavirus Cases "Fairly Small"

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday May 7, 2020, Sweden s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden attends a news conference on the coronavirus Covid-19 situation, in Stockholm, Sweden. (Claudio Bresciani/TT via AP, File)

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish chief epidemiologist best known for being the man behind Sweden’s much debated COVID-19 approach of keeping large parts of the society open says the 1 million virus-related deaths ”is a fairly small number compared to many other diseases that cause death.”

Anders Tegnell of Sweden’s Public Health Agency told Swedish radio on Monday that “we must not be fooled into thinking that this is the only problem we have in the world when it comes to global health.”

While most of Europe locked down their populations early in the pandemic by closing schools, restaurants, fitness centers and even borders, people in Sweden kept enjoying many freedoms.

The milestone of 1 million deaths comes more than nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders’ resolve, pitted science against politics and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work.