Sweden grilled over not enforcing coronavirus lockdown ‘fewer people would have died!’
Sweden chose not to enforce a coronavirus lockdown as the state’s epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, insisted the country has had the ‘same results as many other countries’. He told the BBC the deaths were centralised around care homes. Host Justin Webb asked: “It is true, isn’t it, that you’ve had more deaths than other Scandinavian countries. Do you believe that if you had done the same things that other EU countries had done then fewer people would have died?”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Tegnell said: “At least 50 percent of our death toll is within elderly homes and we have a hard time understanding how a lockdown would stop the introduction of disease.
“We already had a law making it illegal for visitors to come to elderly homes.
“They need constant care, they need a lot of people coming and going to take care of them.
“So it’s a bit unclear to us if a lockdown really would have stopped this from happening or not.
“It’s a difficult question and I don’t think we have the answer and I’m not sure we’ll ever get the answer completely.”
Mr Tegnell went on to claim up to 20 percent of residents in Stockholm have already had the virus.
He said: “We believe that we have an immunity level, if I remember rightly, somewhere between 15-20 per cent of the population in Stockholm.
“This is not complete herd immunity but it will definitely affect the reproduction rate and slow down the spread.”
Around one-third of Stockholm’s 1 million people will have had the novel coronavirus by the start of May and the disease may have already passed its peak in the capital, Sweden’s public health agency said on Tuesday.
Stockholm accounts for around half of Sweden’s 15,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and a high proportion of its 1,765 deaths, including among very elderly people living in care homes.
The public health agency said its modelling suggested the rate of new infections in the city had peaked on April 15, although a decline was not yet evident from its data.
Anders Wallensten, the deputy state epidemiologist at the agency, told reporters at a daily news briefing: “Already a bit more than a week ago, the peak was reached, at least according to this model, and we can expect fewer cases each day.”
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Modelling using data from random testing and cases reported to hospitals showed that around one-third of Stockholm’s population will have contracted the coronavirus by May 1.
“But you also have to remember … that two-thirds have not been infected and can still get it,” Wallensten added.
The study estimated that for each case confirmed by the authorities, 999 milder cases were not recorded because people did not seek medical help.
Wallensten said it was too early to say when the number of fatalities in Stockholm would start to decline.
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