The state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden at a news conference on July 30 in Stockholm.

Sweden’s death toll from January to June was the country’s highest during that period since a famine swept the country 150 years ago.

The country recorded 51,405 deaths in the first half of this year, according to Reuters, its most deaths over that period since 1869.

Sweden’s death toll has been closely watched because — unlike many other countries — it never imposed strict lockdown measures in response to the novel coronavirus.

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After refusing to implement a full coronavirus lockdown, Sweden in the first half of this year recorded its highest death toll of any comparable period in the past 150 years.

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