Sweden’s monarch said that the country has failed this year when many people above the age of 70 died at care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his pre-recorded address to the nation to be televised by SVT, King Carl XVI Gustaf said the country has failed to protect the elderly in care homes from the consequences of the virus epidemic.
“I think we have failed. We have a large number who have died and that is terrible. It is something we all suffer with,” Swedish monarch said.
King’s comments echoed the conclusions presented this week by an independent commission that looked into the nation’s handling of the pandemic. Unfortunately, elderly care in Sweden has major structural shortcomings while the authorities across the country were ill-equipped to meet the health crisis.
Before the conclusions of the report were published, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said health officials had misjudged the impact of the latest wave of the pandemic. As of mid-December, Sweden has seen nearly 7,700 COVID-related deaths.
In September, Sweden lifted a national ban on visiting elderly people in care homes. The ban came after the bulk of Sweden’s deaths earlier this year were recorded among elderly and many in nursing homes.
Taking into account the upcoming festive season, Sweden has also imposed its tightest restrictions to date by banning public gatherings of more than eight people.