The predecessor of Sweden’s state epidemiologist has damaged her silence on the nation’s controversial coronavirus technique, saying she now believes the authorities ought to have put in place harder restrictions within the early levels of the pandemic to deliver the virus below management.
Annika Linde, who oversaw Sweden’s response to swine flu and Sars as state epidemiologist from 2005 to 2013, had till now expressed help for her nation’s method below her successor, Anders Tegnell.
However she has now change into the primary member of the general public well being institution to interrupt ranks, saying she has modified her thoughts because of Sweden’s comparatively excessive loss of life toll in contrast with that of its neighbours, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
“I feel that we would have liked extra time for preparedness. If we had shut down very early … we might have been ready, throughout that point, to make it possible for we had what was crucial to guard the susceptible,” Linde informed the Observer.
For 2 days final week Sweden had the very best per capita loss of life charge on this planet on a seven-day rolling common, and the general loss of life toll is predicted to move 4,00zero this weekend.
Per capita loss of life charges in Denmark, Finland and Norway, which all put in place far-reaching lockdowns, are actually, respectively, 4, seven and 9 instances decrease than that of Sweden.
Sweden has run the least restrictive technique of any developed nation, leaving decrease secondary colleges, bars, eating places, procuring malls and gymnasiums open, and permitting gatherings of as much as 50 folks. It has positioned heavy reliance on the social duty and customary sense of the general public.
Linde mentioned that she had initially shared the considering underpinning Sweden’s method. “The essential notion was, I feel, that in the end, no matter what you do, you should have the entire inhabitants contaminated,” she mentioned.
“So when Anders Tegnell mentioned ‘we’ll flatten the curve, and we’ll defend the susceptible’, I believed ‘we’ll attain herd immunity after some time. It could possibly be technique’. I wasn’t that crucial.”
Since then many international locations have demonstrated that it’s potential to dramatically decrease the incidence of coronavirus an infection and convey the pandemic, not less than quickly, below management.
On the identical time, the second a part of Sweden’s technique – to guard the aged and different danger teams – has failed.
“This was like a dream that we may defend the aged, with little or no foundation in actuality,” argued Linde, who as a 72-year-old has now spent greater than two months in semi-isolation.
Politicians, the media and the general public in Sweden proceed largely to help the general public well being company’s dealing with the pandemic, excluding a small group of teachers and researchers. Linde’s criticisms, first aired in an interview within the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, mark the primary crucial intervention from a member of the general public well being institution.
Tegnell, in an interview to be broadcast in the present day on Swedish nationwide radio, conceded that the nation was in a “horrible scenario” however dismissed the concept a lockdown would have helped.
“It quite common to provide you with that criticism, and say ‘if we had locked down, we may have accomplished a lot extra earlier than. However after I ask the query, ‘what, precisely, may we’ve accomplished which might have modified a lot?’, then I don’t get so many solutions.”
Linde mentioned Tegnell was improper to put the blame for the excessive charge of an infection in Swedish aged care properties on the native authorities and the non-public firms who run them.
This “sounds logical”, she mentioned. “But it surely ought to be knowledgeable upwards that the preparedness is there, in order that people who resolve on the technique know that the technique is feasible to understand. This was lacking.”
She attributed the failure of Sweden’s method partly to the general public well being company’s unwillingness to adapt a pre-prepared technique constructed on the expertise of influenza pandemics, akin to Spanish flu and swine flu, to coronavirus.
“The truth that it was in contrast an excessive amount of to influenza epidemics may have made us make the improper assumptions to start with,” she mentioned. “We may have perhaps had one other growth had we been, for instance, extra conscious of the danger of unfold from asymptomatic people.”
— to www.theguardian.com