April 30, 2020 | 7:54pm
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven simply asked his country’s citizens to do prudent social dis-tancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Just last month, the World Health Organization warned that lifting coronavirus lockdowns was the “last thing” countries needed. Shutdowns, it insisted, “are the best way to suppress and stop transmission.”
Or maybe not. Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, suggests learning from Sweden — which never shut down completely — as a “model” for battling the coronavirus.
In part because its Constitution doesn’t allow a state of emergency except in wartime, Sweden’s (left-leaning) government simply asked its citizens to do prudent social distancing. Restaurants and other businesses never closed, though the economy still took a big hit.
Ryan sees “lessons to be learned” from the way Sweden “has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate.”
Still, Sweden has seen about 2,500 COVID-19 deaths in its population of 10.3 million — higher than its locked-down Nordic neighbors. Denmark has under 500 deaths among its 5.8 million residents; Norway, just over 200 fatalities in a land of 5.4 million.
Sweden may be worth studying — but the WHO still needs to get its message straight.