The spread of the novel coronavirus may have reached its peak in the Swedish capital Stockholm last week and could now start to decline, health officials said on Tuesday.
The Public Health Agency concluded in a report using statistical models that 86,000 of Stockholm's one million residents had the virus on 15 April.
According to the official tally, Sweden has recorded 15,322 cases nationwide since the outbreak began including 6,200 infections in Stockholm.
The researchers used modelling based on reported cases and a study of randomly selected Stockholm residents and assumed only about one in 1,000 cases were confirmed via testing.
"According to this model the peak was reached then and after that we can expect fewer cases per day, but that doesn't mean the infection stops," Anders Wallensten, deputy state epidemiologist, told a press conference.
Wallensten said the models would become more accurate as more data became available.
Sweden has not imposed the extraordinary lockdown measures seen across Europe, instead urging people to take responsibility and follow official recommendations. Gatherings of more than 50 people have been barred along with visits to nursing homes.
The strategy has come under scrutiny since mortality rates leapt ahead of its Nordic neighbours, Finland, Denmark and Norway, which have all instituted more restrictive containment measures.
© 2020 AFP