Some Swedish officials have begun to voice their discontent with their experimental policies taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic — with both the scientist who led the policy and Prime Minster Stefan Löfven among those admitting to some failures in the Swedish approach, per The Washington Post.
Unlike many other countries in both Europe and the world, the Scandinavian nation decided against a major lockdown.
Schools and restaurants remained open, albeit with some social distancing restrictions in place. Salons and shops remained open. Though there was ban capping events at 50 people, many felt as if daily life in Sweden had not substantially changed.
But it was not just in policy where Sweden deviated from the global approach. Discourse was vastly different. Officials such as Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell were open about their belief that the intense global lockdown measures were an overreaction.
In fact, Tegnell was so critical of Italy’s policies that the Italian ambassador to Sweden reprimanded Tegnell twice.
Similarly, Prime Minister Löfven refused to wear face masks, claiming that gave a “false sense of security” about being safe from the virus.
Unfortunately, the lax take on the coronavirus has led to a very different fatality rate in Sweden versus its other nordic neighbors. The fatality rate in Sweden is eight times higher than that in Denmark, and 19 times higher than in Norway.
As a result, officials are now expressing doubts as to whether their policies were the right move after all.
“Should we encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did,” Tegnell confessed on a Swedish radio show on Wednesday.
That said, Sweden still outperformed other European countries in terms of its fatality rate. For example, it had a lower rate than the U.K., Spain, Belgium, and Italy. However, that might change in coming weeks and months, as Sweden is not seeing the level of decreasing cases noted in the other countries.
“You look at everyone else’s curve, it is typical. You go up, you peak, then you go down on the other side. But in Sweden you have a plateau at a pretty high level,” explained Bjorn Olsen, a professor of infectious medicine at Uppsala University and one of Sweden’s leading researchers of pandemics.
The prime minister has also admitted fault in the government’s response concerning elderly citizens.
“We must admit that the part that deals with elderly care, in terms of the spread of infection, has not worked. It is obvious. We have too many elderly people who have passed away,” Löfven confessed.
Meanwhile, though the U.S. has a lower fatality rate than Sweden, experts have voiced concern that the recent protests against police brutality might spur a second wave, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.