Sweden recorded its highest death toll in 150 years in the first half of 2020, in a count not seen since an infamous famine in 1869.
The Scandinavian nation, which refused to implement a Covid-19 lockdown, recorded 51,405 deaths between January and June, according to the country's official statistics office.
That figure is around 6500, or 15 per cent, more than the same time period last year.
During the first six months of 1869, a total of 55,431 people died when Sweden was hit by widespread starvation due to poor harvests. The severe famine saw many desperate citizens move to the US.
SWEDEN'S CONTROVERSIAL APPROACH TO COVID-19
When most of Europe was in government-enforced lockdown, Sweden did things differently.
None of the mandatory lockdowns, police patrolling the streets, or fines for being out of the house were to be found in the Scandinavian country, which instead adopted a controversial "herd immunity" approach to battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country's unique strategy to deal with the deadly coronavirus without tanking the economy was to keep schools, cafes, restaurants and shops open, while encouraging people to voluntarily distance themselves and work from home.
The idea was that the country would achieve "herd immunity" – a level of the disease where most of the population has been infected, and subsequently developed immunity, which would in turn stop the virus from spreading.
The man behind this strategy is Sweden's chief epidemiologist, Dr Anders Tegnell, the creator and driver of the national Covid-19 strategy.
Tegnell was banking on at least 40 per cent of the Swedish population becoming immune to Covid-19.
Back in May, he told The Financial Times: "In the autumn there will be a second wave.
"Sweden will have a high level of immunity and the number of cases will probably be quite low. But Finland will have a very low level of immunity. Will Finland have to go into a complete lockdown again?"
But a June study found the number of Swedes who have formed antibodies to the virus is smaller than expected, dashing hopes that herd immunity could be achieved.
The study, carried out by the country's Public Health Agency, found that just 6.1 per cent of the country's population had developed coronavirus antibodies by late May. This figure falls far short of Tegnell's prediction.
Experts have said achieving herd immunity would require at least 60 per cent of the population to become immune to the virus.
The virus has already killed more than 5800 people, giving Sweden one of the world's highest per capita mortality rates.
To compare those figures with other Scandinavian countries, Denmark has recorded 621 deaths, Finland has recorded 334 deaths, and Norway 262.