A Swedish city is to spread a tonne of chicken manure across its central park in an attempt to deter people from gathering for a traditional festival, as the country continues in its unconventional efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Lund Council has ordered workers to dump 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of chicken manure across its main city park to deter crowds from gathering to celebrate Walpurgis Night on April 30
The occasion, marking the shift away from dark, chilly winter days towards brighter spring and summer days, is typically celebrated with picnics, parties and bonfires across the country, and regularly attracts thousands of students.
“This is a park where usually 30,000 people gather, but with COVID-19 this is now unthinkable,” the town’s mayor, Philip Sandberg, told Reuters. “We don’t want Lund to become an epicentre for the spread of the disease.”
Sweden has taken a softer approach than many other countries to preventing the spread of the respiratory disease that the coronavirus can cause, asking rather than ordering people to maintain social distancing.
In line with this policy, authorities have requested people avoid gathering for this year’s Walpurgis Night, but have not banned festivities.
The authorities fear young people, especially students, will still want to enjoy a picnic and drink in the park.
“Most students in Lund and other parts of Sweden respect the recommendations … although even a small number of people still going to the park can become a big risk,” Sandberg said.
Sweden has reported 20,302 cases and 2,462 deaths from coronavirus.