US/World

Expert Voices Remorse Over How Sweden Handled Coronavirus Situation

The usual norm for most regions is to implement the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some complied while others did not. Now, those who opted to impose strict lockdown measures during the COVID-19 pandemic are paying the price. One of them is Sweden, which now has a higher mortality rate compared to neighboring regions. And the man behind all that is Anders Tegnell.

Initially, Tegnell has had reservations. But upon seeing the rise in mortality rate, his views have now changed. He admits that they had the chance to curb down numbers had they adapted stricter measures like lockdowns. Now, Sweden has about 4,252 deaths and 40,803 cases in a population of roughly around 10 million. Neighboring regions such as Denmark, Norway and Finland followed the CDC guidelines and saw a lower number of coronavirus cases, BBC reported.

"If we were to encounter the same disease again, knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would settle on doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done," Tegnell said to Swedish Radio.

The state epidemiologist initially claimed that the reason for the high death toll was because homes for the elderly were not taking the necessary precautions against the coronavirus. However, he cautioned that this does not mean such did not disqualify their strategy as a whole. Now, the question is what measures will the region undertake to bring down COVID-19 numbers. When he spoke at a press conference, it appeared he was not yet fully convinced that a lockdown was the solution on their end.

Instead, Tegnell has done other things beyond a lockdown. That includes (voluntary) social distancing and banning mass gatherings of more than 50 people. Visits to elderly homes were also halted while nonessential travel is discouraged. However, long journeys of up to two hours are allowed to loved ones for as long as it does not include visits to local shops and seeing other residents.

With most regions now reopening, it may take time for Sweden to follow. For Norway, public health chief Frode Forland said Sweden focused too much on historical models of the virus rather than implement lockdowns. Now, they are paying the price with locals also affected. Such has not turned out well for Tegnell who admits that he and his family even got death threats via email for the move.

COVID-19 lockdown Some health experts said the pandemic may end if 70 percent of the world’s population developed immunity to COVID-19. Pixabay

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