Covid19 News

Swedish PM warned over ‘Russian roulette-style’ Covid-19 strategy | World news


Criticism is mounting in Sweden of the government’s approach to Covid-19, with experts warning that its strategy of building broad immunity while protecting at-risk groups – similar to that initially adopted by the UK – amounted to “Russian roulette” and could end in disaster.

The prime minister, Stefan Löfven, on Sunday night called on all Swedes to accept individual responsibility in stopping the rapid spread of the virus as the number of patients in intensive care in Stockholm continued to rise sharply.

Symptoms are defined by the NHS as either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

NHS advice is that anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.

After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine. But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days.

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

After 7 days, if you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine.

If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal.

If you still have a cough after 7 days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

Staying at home means you should:

  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home

You can use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise – but stay at least 2 metres away from other people.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, use the NHS 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Source: NHS England on 23 March 2020

“There will be a few decisive moments in life when you must make sacrifices, not only for your own sake but also for those around you, for your fellow humans and for our country,” Löfven said in a rare public address. “That moment is now.”

But while the prime minister said “more invasive decisions” may yet come, he announced no further restrictions. “Everyone must do their part,” he said. “I understand it’s frustrating … But right now it is necessary.”

Sweden, which has reported 1,906 confirmed coronavirus cases and 21 deaths, has shut universities and senior high schools, banned gatherings of more than 500, asked all citizens to avoid non-essential travel and advised those who feel ill and are aged over 70 to stay at home.

Unlike most EU countries, however – including its Nordic neighbours Denmark, Norway and Finland – Sweden has not introduced stricter suppression and social distancing orders such as mass shop and lower-school closures, nor has it placed citizens in near-total lockdown, as in Italy, Spain and France.

Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, has denied the country’s approach is to rapidly build group immunity to the virus, a tactic seemingly pursued in Britain and the Netherlands until both recently changed tack after warnings that their health systems could be overwhelmed and death tolls would soar.

But Tegnell conceded to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper last week that such an objective was “not contradictory” with what he described as the government’s core strategy, which was to ensure “a slow spread of infection, and that the health services have a reasonable workload”.

On Sunday night, Tegnell told Swedish TV the outbreak would “calm down” in May but return in the autumn. “It will be important how much of the population is infected,” he said. “It will determine what happens in the autumn.” Coronavirus could be stopped either by “herd immunity, or a combination of immunity and vaccination”, he said. “It’s basically the same thing.”

Swedish health professionals are increasingly expressing concern that the government may be favouring the health of the economy over that of the public. Leading experts last week were fiercely critical of the Swedish public health authority in an email thread seen by state broadcaster SVT, accusing it of incompetence and lack of medical expertise.

“I’m deeply concerned,” Fredrik Elgh, a virology professor at Umeå University, told SVT. “I’d rather Stockholm was quarantined. We are almost the only country in the world not…



Source Website Swedish PM warned over ‘Russian roulette-style’ Covid-19 strategy | World news

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