Swedish government says has been ready to take wider measures if asked by Health Agency

FILE PHOTO: Lena Hallengren, minister for health and social affairs, and Johan Carlson, director general for the Swedish Public Health Agency (not pictured) hold a news conference about restrictions for vulnerable 70+ citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Stockholm, Sweden May 26, 2020. TT News Agency/Claudio Bresciani via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s government has been ready to introduce further measures to try and halt the spread of the new coronavirus if recommended by the Public Health Agency, Health Minister Lena Hallengren said on Wednesday.

“The government has been, at all times, prepared to introduce further measures recommended by the expert authority,” Hallengren said in written comment to Reuters.

Earlier, the Public Health Agency’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said that with hindsight, Sweden should have done more to halt the outbreak, which has claimed a higher proportion of lives in Sweden than in neighbouring countries.

Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Johan Ahlander