Sweden's confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 70,000

Passengers prepare to check in at Arlanda airport for the first chartered TUI flight to Rhodes in Greece since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Stockholm, Sweden July 2, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

Sweden's number of confirmed COVID-19 crossed the 70,000 mark on Thursday, while deaths rose by 41 to 5,411, health agency statistics showed on Thursday.

recorded 947 new cases to put the total at 70,639. Expanded testing has seen daily new cases soar over the past month, eclipsing rates elsewhere in the European Union, but deaths and hospitalizations have tumbled from peaks in April.

The country adopted a softer approach to fighting the new coronavirus, spurning a hard lock down and putting its pandemic strategy in the international spotlight.

Sweden's death toll has been many times higher relative to the size of the population than that of its Nordic neighbours, where authorities took a stricter approach, but lower than in some countries that locked down, such as Britain, Italy and Spain.

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