Coronavirus: Sweden’s life expectancy expected to fall because of COVID-19, government figures show

Home Lifestyle Coronavirus: Sweden’s life expectancy expected to fall because of COVID-19, government figures show

Early data from the first half of this year suggests that life expectancy had already dropped from 84.7 to 84.4 years for women and 81.3 to 80.8 years for men, Statistics Sweden announced.

The trend was likely to continue during the final months of 2020, officials said.

Demographer Örjan Hemström said data showed Sweden was heading for the largest reduction in life expectancy between two years since 1944.

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Life expectancy is expected to fall in Sweden because of coronavirus-related deaths. (AP)

“Life expectancy has increased steadily in Sweden during the period of 1900–2019,” Statistics Sweden said.

“That it sinks stands out.”

Deaths from coronavirus this year were a major factor in the latest calculation, the agency said.

From January to June, almost 6500 more deaths had occurred than during the same period in 2019.

Instead, there was an emphasis on personal responsibility, with most bars, schools, restaurants and salons remaining open.

But last month when confronted with rising COVID-19 cases during the cooler autumn months, officials introduced local voluntary restrictions.

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Diners at cafes and restaurants in Sweden are now being urged to follow an eight person per table rule amid rising coronavirus cases. (AP)

The measures gave local health officials powers to instruct citizens to avoid shopping centres, museums, libraries, swimming pools, gyms, sports training, sports matches and concerts.

This was followed by the introduction of a limit of eight people per table in cafes and restaurants.

Like most of Europe, Sweden is currently battling a second wave of coronavirus.

The country of 10.2 million people has recorded 236,355 cases and 6622 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Infections include two members of Sweden’s royal family, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, who are quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, the Swedish Royal Court announced today.
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Swedes enjoyed a largely restriction-free life during the northern summer months, with bars and restaurants remaining open. But now cases have jumped. (AP)

Statistics Sweden said that the continued spread of the coronavirus may mean the calculations for life expectancy will have to be revised again.

The current spread of the virus “may well lead to more surplus deaths during the last two months of the year, which may result in even lower life expectancy in 2020,” said Mr Hemström.

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