Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 18°C Friday 19 August 2022
Advertisement

Sweden admits Covid-19 response could have been better amid criticism of 'softer' approach

However, the country’s top epidemiologist defended the decision not to impose a strict lockdown.

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden speaking during a news conference in Stockholm today.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency of Sweden speaking during a news conference in Stockholm today.
Image: Anders Wiklund/AP/Press Association Images

SWEDEN’S TOP EPIDEMIOLOGIST has said there was room for improvement in the country’s controversial softer approach to curbing the spread of Covid-19.

But Anders Tegnell, the public face of Sweden’s virus response, defended the decision not to impose a strict lockdown similar to those implemented in other countries.

“If we were to encounter the same disease with everything we know about it today, I think we would end up doing something in between what Sweden and the rest of the world has done,” Tegnell told Swedish Radio today.

Sweden has so far reported 38,589 confirmed cases of the virus and 4,468 deaths, a toll far greater than neighbouring countries and described by Tegnell as “absolutely” too high.

He stressed, however, that he was still unsure which added measures would have made a difference.

“It would be good to know more precisely what you should shut down to better prevent a spread of the infection,” he said.

Most businesses stayed open 

Schools have remained open to under-16s. Cafés, bars and restaurants and most businesses have also stayed open.

People have been urged to work from home, limit contacts, practise social distancing and wash hands frequently. The public is expected to follow the recommendations, but they are not legally binding.

However, the country has imposed bans on visits to nursing homes and on gatherings of more than 50 people.

Sweden’s leaders have maintained that the measures are designed for the long haul, reiterating often that the fight against the virus is a “marathon, not a sprint”.

The Swedish approach has been criticised at home and abroad, particularly as the number of deaths has far exceeded those in neighbouring Nordic countries, which have all imposed more restrictive containment measures.

© AFP 2020

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (72)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel