Sweden remains steadfast in its strategy of voluntary measures and no lockdowns, the architect of its unorthodox COVID-19 response said on Friday, as the country battles a growing second wave of a disease that has now killed more than 6,000 Swedes. The Nordic nation of 10 million people, whose soft-touch approach to combating the virus has drawn worldwide attention – and harsh domestic criticism from some – has seen a surge in the number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths in recent weeks. At 5,990, the number of new cases reported on Friday was the highest since the start of the pandemic. A further 42 deaths were also recorded, the most for around three months. The strategy, however, will not change. “No, we will keep on this path,” Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.