PM: Sweden's health officials misjudged new infection wave

The Journal.


Though sweden's covid cases dropped drastically over the summer the country head still become somewhat of an international pariah some of its closest allies the other nordic countries turn their backs on the swedish experiment. This swedes didn't think it was necessary to have strict border. Controls and the. Swedes didn't think it was necessary to institute lockdown and that basically forced all the other governments of their neighbors to close borders with sweden it went to the extend that norway actually deployed the army to the borders with sweden which is really unprepared to deploy the army to help guard the borders to prevent plumbers stein crossings. And that's pretty astonishing for that part of the world. I mean one official in finland told me that they don't see sweden as a black sheep but they think of sweden as a different sheep. You know in this a polite way of saying they are. They are no really doing what we think needs to be done. When did swedish officials realized that they weren't doing what needed to be done. Tober numbers started going up again in sweden especially in stockholm and i think by november. They had a pretty pretty steep rise in infections. In hospitals started filling up again and the more started swelling. I spoke to the head of the stockholm hospitals for my article and he was very very worried. He you know. Swedes are pretty low. Key in the use of active but he said it was a very very serious situation. He said that hospitals were filling up. He said that people were dying. At an increasing rate. And he said that the growth was still at a level which was not really sustainable. The streets of sweden's capital or quiet. A second wave of covert is sweeping through stockholm. It didn't escape as authorities predicted. It would so in november. The swedish government changed course implementing restrictions. The rest of europe has had in place for months in a rare televised speech. Prime minister stephan lovin addressed. The people of sweden say on auto would some he basically said uh little. We got this. Summer and autumn is truly over people's health and lives are still endanger the dangerous increasing then the prefix undersold moreno hurston evac ed november man. This'll hell sodhi if food fall on the fodder forum burqa. He asked people to stay at home. He asked people to not engage in interactions. If there are necessary in order to reduce the spread of the virus and he served painted a very very bleak picture of the reality of swin new job. You dad two summers. I what they now have is a ban on all gatherings of eighth people in public. Which essentially meant that cinemas theatres and other such venues had to close down. Many of them did and they also banned sales of alcohol after ten o'clock so that means bars. We'll have to close around ten o'clock. What has dr technol- and the health said about these measures. Well that's interesting. you see. The measures the restrictive measures at the end of november were announced by the government not by the healthcare agency and when you go on their website and when you read their guidelines they explain outline the guidelines and then they say it was political bodies that made these decisions so i think there is a sense. That healthcare agency has been Overridden by the politician's a little bit because that restriction to ban gatherings of over eight people was not something they proposed initially but swedish health officials are still going against scientific consensus in another way. They're actively discouraging. The use of masks in public spaces homes. Nobody wears a mask except for individuals. Who want to to this very day. The public health agency and dr technol- chief epidemiologist are advising against wearing masks. Their rationale is if you wear a mask. You may not stick the social distancing rules and that's dangerous because the mosque not protect you. And the social distancing will so it's better to keep your distance you stay away from a person in a public space rather than you wear masks and you come close to them. What do all of these new measures mean for the swedish economy. The overall swedish economy is not doing great this year like everyone else. I mean the estimates of the central bank are that by early next year. Unemployment will go up to ten percent. That's quite a lot for sweden. So you know. The swedish economy is not doing well by any measure and certainly not doing better than comparable countries that did have lockdowns especially not in the neighborhood. If you look at norway finland and denmark. They are not doing worse than sweden. Why do you think the swedish experiment failed. And what do you think it says about balancing personal freedoms with health it's important to preserve freedom and keep the economy going. But you have to have a plan. You have to have targeted measures. Then you have to keep a handle on the virus and think. Sweden failed to do that. Sweden failed to institute the initial serve circuit breaker lockdown in the beginning then twin failed to really improve. Its contact tracing in testing systems. And they didn't really device targeted measures. That would be able to keep this disease in check. And ultimately there is no actual zero-some game in terms of either you be virus or be economy. I think when you let the virus run amok economy will crash. There is no example whatsoever that i can think of and i've been reporting about this for ten months now over country that let the virus loose and savings economy. That just didn't happen anywhere in the world.

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