Once former chief epidemiologist Annika Linde of Sweden (Annika Linde) believed that Sweden could at the same time protect senior citizens and to achieve herd immunity. Now she came to the conclusion that the strategy “the Swedish generals of the war with the coronavirus” failed.
Doubt the Swedish strategy Annika Linde a couple of weeks ago. Day-to-day former chief epidemiologist of the country watched as her successor Tegnell Anders (Anders Tegnell) reported about high mortality rates, whereas the daily number of deaths in Denmark and Norway often could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Today Annika Linde, I’m not sure that Sweden did the right thing: “Sweden ought to be in March, when did Denmark and the rest of Europe, — she told Berlingske. — At the beginning of the infection we spread too much too fast. And, as it turned out, this has led to serious consequences that now affect mortality”.
“If we had closed the shops, restaurants and generally would stop a large part of society, we should be able to slow down the spread of the virus and would have won himself more time,” says former chief epidemiologist.
Annika Linde was the chief epidemiologist of Sweden from 2005 to 2013 and has now become probably the most renowned Swedish critic unique approach of his country to combat coronavirus infection.
Today Annika Linde is a local representative of the party “liberals” in the affluent Stockholm suburb of Danderyd and the city Council of the Stockholm region.
Recent months, the now 72-year-old Annika Linde spent in partial isolation for fear of infection. Previously, it was believed that Anders Tegnell and Management of public health has chosen the right strategy: older citizens, including herself, protected, and in Sweden, has gradually formed the necessary herd immunity that will arise as soon as you overcome 60% of the population, and force the virus to go away naturally.
“Then I thought that this strategy might not be effective.”
But now Annika Linde realized that her expectations were not met. The first results of antibody tests — which, however, now need to review showed that in mid-April had been ill only about 7% of the population of Stockholm. And in other parts of the country this proportion was considerably smaller.
“Although we are not quite sure what these tests detect all carriers of the immune system, still it seems that the process is very slow, and too many will die before we reach herd immunity. Stockholm is a special case, but in other parts of the country until herd immunity is very, very far.”
The plan for the protection of older citizens, too, failed, said Annika Linde. About half of the more than four thousand people that died from covid-19 in Sweden, lived in nursing homes. In other words, the authorities are unable to protect them from infection.
“We are unable to protect them. This is probably our biggest mistake,” says Annika Linde.
Berlingske: Defense of nursing homes included in the Swedish strategy. Maybe they would have still suffered as much, even if Sweden has introduced a more restrictive society?
Annika Linde: Maybe, but probably a quick stop companies still would keep nursing homes, and the authorities would have had time to prepare and develop measures for their protection. It would be possible to take more samples from staff and provide it with proper protective equipment.
Last week Annika Linde in an interview with Dagens Nyheter have said that Sweden’s decision not to close the society could cost many lives — including residents of nursing homes.
Sunday Anders Tegnell responded to this criticism in an interview with “Swedish radio”. He said that many deaths in nursing homes — “it’s horrible”, but said he did not consider them a direct result of the Swedish strategy.
“We are often criticized, saying that if we closed, it would have had much more to do. But when I ask what we could do to make a significant difference, I hardly get a response,” said Anders Tegnell.
31 Mar the government of Stephen Leuven introduced a ban on visits to nursing homes throughout Sweden. The Minister of social Affairs Hallengren Lena (Lena Hallengren) acknowledged that the Swedish authorities “failed to protect the elderly”.
Praise Of Denmark
In recent weeks, Sweden has several times showed the highest daily mortality per million inhabitants in the world. Today the number of deaths per million citizens in Sweden is about four times more than in Denmark, and nine times more than in Norway.
Annika Linde believes that the neighbor is Sweden deserve praise for their methods of dealing with the crisis.
“In Sweden, perhaps someone says that Denmark chose the easy solution by closing the society. But in actual fact the decision is complex, with consequences for the economy and freedoms of citizens. It was a courageous decision. And Denmark you have to pay tribute”.
Annika Linde believes that the experience of Denmark and the rest of Europe proves that quarantine works, if introduced at the beginning of the outbreak, it allows you to get the virus under control — at least for a while.
Anders Tegnell and another former chief epidemiologist of the country Johan Giesecke (Johan Giesecke), however, has repeatedly said that the infection will flare up again as soon as the society re-opens. Sweden has chosen the approach that you can follow for a long time, they claimed.
Annika Linde is not yet ready to assess whether they are right in this assumption or not.
“It’s show time, but now in Sweden, the situation is bad compared to neighbouring countries. That is what I react”.
Annika Linde believes that Sweden should as soon as possible to understand, what can we learn from neighbouring countries.
“Now may be too late. We maintain social distance, but it’s not a full quarantine, which we needed. It might be useful to implement local quarantine if the infection begins to spread to new regions of Sweden.”
According to Annika Linde, Denmark have already tested a lot more citizens than Sweden. In Denmark covid-19 checked about 460 thousand people, while in Sweden — only 240 thousand.
“Now is the most important. We need to take the tests and look for the infected to get the virus under control — including the threat of a new wave”.