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More on Sweden. Nature published an in depth read on the country’s approach, including an interview with Tegnell, which is really worth a read:
Anders Tegnell, an epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, is the architect of the country’s “trust-based” strategy for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke with Nature about the approach. https://t.co/nXYpoUnTJ2
The approach has sharp critics. Among them are 22 high-profile scientists who last week wrote in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the public-health authorities had failed, and urged politicians to step in with stricter measures. They point to the high number of coronavirus deaths in elder-care homes and Sweden’s overall fatality rate, which is higher than that of its Nordic neighbours — 131 per million people, compared with 55 per million in Denmark and 14 per million in Finland, which have adopted lockdowns.
It is difficult to talk about the scientific basis of a strategy with these types of disease, because we do not know much about it and we are learning as we are doing, day by day. Closedown, lockdown, closing borders — nothing has a historical scientific basis, in my view. We have looked at a number of European Union countries to see whether they have published any analysis of the effects of these measures before they were started and we saw almost none.
Closing borders, in my opinion, is ridiculous, because COVID-19 is in every European country now. We have more concerns about movements inside Sweden.
Fascinating interview with Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.
Sweden has been criticised for taking a different path to its neighbours, and indeed the rest of Europe, in its approach to dealing with coronavirus. It has asked its citizens to avoid non-essential travel, work from home and stay indoors if they are over 70 or are feeling ill – but there has been no enforced lockdown.
They have to admit that it’s a huge failure, since they have said the whole time that their main aim has been to protect the elderly.
It’s a difficult question and I don’t think we have the answer and I don’t know if we will ever get the answer.
We hope this will make it easier for us in the long run. Other part of the reasoning is we want something sustainable, if we need mitigation we can go on doing this for a long time, if looks like going to get second wave in the fall we can easily continue doing what we are doing now.