Earlier this week, Sweden passed the threshold of 15,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Sweden’s response to the spread of coronavirus was too slow and its preparations to handle a pandemic were insufficient, a stinging official report concluded Friday.

The Scandinavian country has stood out among European nations for its comparatively hands-off response to the pandemic, emphasizing individual responsibility and choices instead of mandated government health measures, AP reports.

In its preliminary findings, the new report said Sweden’s initial protection measures were “insufficient to stop or even sharply limit the spread of infection,” and that its solution to counter the outbreak “was based on voluntariness and personal responsibility, rather than more intrusive measures.”

It added that Swedish laws were “insufficient to deal with a serious epidemic or pandemic outbreak,” and that the country’s infection control system was decentralized, making “it unclear who is responsible for the whole when a serious infectious disease affects the country.”

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