Sweden is doing the opposite of almost all of Europe

Swedish children continued to pour through the gates into their schools and kindergartens yesterday as the country stood increasingly alone in Europe in its approach to tackling the coronavirus.

Shops and restaurants also remained open, with parks and recreational areas packed with groups enjoying the spring sunshine.

He conceded that if infection rates do start to soar and Sweden ends up like Italy or Spain, he would face criticism.

The government has banned only events with more than 500 participants, issuing a recommendation that those who visit pubs and restaurants should be seated at a table rather than mingling at a bar, and that people taking public transport should "think carefully" about whether it's necessary.

The advice has not changed despite a surge of cases in Stockholm in recent days that led the city's health chief Bjorn Eriksson to call for any help he could get handling the influx of coronavirus patients.

"The storm is here," Mr Eriksson said, announcing 18 patients had died in the region in the past 24 hours, doubling its death tally in a single day.

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