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Sweden regrets going for herd immunity policy, admits they should have locked down more

(19 Posts)
xxyzz Thu 04-Jun-20 15:26:32

www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/03/architect-of-sweden-coronavirus-strategy-admits-too-many-died-anders-tegnell

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52903717

OP’s posts: |
CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 04-Jun-20 15:30:43

Bugger!

Fingers crossed they get that under control and nowhere gets a serious "2nd wave"

But that figure on the way up is scary, especially as it is so similar to our figure in the way down. It could take weeks for them to get a decent reduction in R0

Delatron Thu 04-Jun-20 15:38:15

I think what is interesting is that he says he wishes he had done something in between Sweden and the rest of the world.

I’m not sure there are any half measures? You either lockdown quickly and fast or it’s a bit pointless and the worst of both worlds (see us).

I don’t agree with the Spanish policy of keeping children in for 6 weeks. I think speed of action and closing borders is showing to have the biggest impact on numbers of cases. (Plus track and test is the best solution but in the West we just couldn’t get this up and running fast enough).

For me Switzerland and Austria have done well. They seemed to focus on the measures that work whilst being more relaxed about others?

xxyzz Thu 04-Jun-20 17:46:42

It's a significant acknowledgement from Sweden, as they are often quoted by people on the right as an example of how the 'herd immunity' strategy can be successful.

So that they have been forced to recant this is important, and makes the British government's wishy-washy, late to lockdown, early-to-end lockdown look even more dangerous.

OP’s posts: |
CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 04-Jun-20 17:50:17

Or it commends them for abandoning it once it became obvious it would be less effective!

Just for balance, not wanting to distract from the initial point you made ...

Keepdistance Thu 04-Jun-20 18:00:23

I think the issue is they still have low immunity so unless there is some innate immunity they will still have a lot more die.

Generally it seems countries need to agree policy because the world is all over the place now and uk is awful not safe to go out but also really other countries shouldnt let us in.

NoHardSell Thu 04-Jun-20 18:04:27

“the basic strategy has worked well. I do not see what we would have done completely differently … Based on the knowledge we had then, we feel we made the appropriate decisions.”

ChateauMargaux Thu 04-Jun-20 18:23:50

I think everyone is jumping on this because they have been reflective and honest. Yes Sweden has fared worse than Denmark, Finland and Norway but the COVID deaths per million in Belgium, UK, Spain and Italy are worse than Sweden and if we look at the all cause excess deaths, in addition to those listed above France and Netherland look to have fared worse than Sweden. It feels like the focus on this is wrong.

xxyzz Thu 04-Jun-20 18:26:54

Sweden had the highest rate of excess deaths in the world last week.

That is not a record to be proud of.

OP’s posts: |
ChateauMargaux Thu 04-Jun-20 18:58:18

@xxyzz Do you have a link for that?

www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/ This data says otherwise and while the timing might be slightly different there are European countries with much higher excess death rates.

Always happy to see more data!!

Delatron Thu 04-Jun-20 19:35:51

I admire their/his honesty. I actually don’t think we can make conclusions on this until much later after other countries release lockdown and fully open borders. We find a vaccine, brilliant. Or when we know more about immunity and long term economic impact for example. Right now it doesn’t look good but I wonder for the future

MintyMabel Thu 04-Jun-20 20:32:16

This doesn’t reflect the views of many Swedes. Tegell still enjoys the almost cult like support of many of them. Strangely proud of the abject failure compared to their Scandinavian neighbours.

MintyMabel Thu 04-Jun-20 20:34:04

*Fingers crossed they get that under control and nowhere gets a serious "2nd wave"”

Figures suggest they wouldn’t be protected. Their levels of immunity antibodies are lower than expected.

xxyzz Thu 04-Jun-20 21:37:47

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/20/sweden-becomes-country-highest-coronavirus-death-rate-per-capita/

OP’s posts: |
NoHardSell Thu 04-Jun-20 21:46:43

Belgium Spain Italy France and the UK still worse overall. Despite lockdown. That's pretty damning. What an utter shitshow. No wonder you get misleading headlines like this (see my earlier quote from the article itself). How to face up to our shit lockdown being no better/no worse than just asking people to social distance a bit.

ChateauMargaux Thu 04-Jun-20 21:59:55

It is clear that coronavirus deaths are not equal to excess deaths and while the telegraph has quoted a fact this does not reflect the full picture as we have it at this stage. This appears to be an attempt to jump on the Swedes sharing an honest reflection and it being twisted by the press who conveniently ignore the bigger picture. The UK all cause mortality since the middle of March is truly shocking, not fully explained by the reported COVID death figures and appears to be worse than any other country in Europe with the possible exception of Spain. Other countries look at trends in death rates, any attempt to suggest that everyone else is hiding the numbers is just plain wrong. Germany is not hiding a bigger COVID problem from it's people, France keep a close eye on the all.cause mortality trends. There will of course be delays in reporting and some errors in the detail and timing but to suggest that the UK is somehow the only country who can count their dead is embarrassingly colonial.

Shurl Thu 04-Jun-20 22:11:11

I work for a Swedish company and am on the phone to my Swedish colleagues for many hours every day. Their overriding sentiment is that their government is doing the right thing tbh.

I have been talking to them about their increased death rates etc. The opinion is generally that their openness and honesty about the toll is making it appear worse than other countries with less effective counting methods. Eg their health system is much more medicalised outside of hospitals, so deaths in care homes and in society (cared for via GP) are recorded as part of the toll. Unlike in the UK where the data is much more limited. And Italy still haven't a clue what their true figures are.

Laniakea Thu 04-Jun-20 22:19:07

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/03/architect-swedens-strategy-regrets-not-imposing-tougher-lockdown/

"If we were hit by the same disease, knowing exactly what we know today, I think we would end up doing something between what Sweden has done and what the rest of the world has done," he said.

"I think there's certainly room for improvement in what we've done in Sweden, absolutely."

"It would be good to know more precisely what to shut down to prevent the spread of infection better," he added. "As it is, every country threw everything in right away. Sweden is one of the few countries that has worked up one step at a time.

"Maybe we will know more when people start removing measures one at a time, then maybe we will get some kind of lesson about what else, besides what we did, you could do without imposing a total shutdown."

^ not quite how the OP presented Anders Tegnell‘s comments. How refreshing to have such an honest, reflective & nuanced approach.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 04-Jun-20 22:27:51

It's commendable honesty about mistakes made.
Very rare and praiseworthy

Every European country had to make decisions under time pressure, but with very little information about a novel Coronavirus
As pp have said, the strategy had the support of most people in Sweden and has always been clear.

However, Sweden's deaths have plateaued instead of dropping rapidly as in most other Western or Central European countries.
Their economy is not doing so much better than others either, partly because their exports have been hit.

With the knowledge gained over the last few months, most European countries including Sweden, have learned more about how to limit infections and also treat the disease.

So most have adapted their strategy, as the science has developed

Most like e.g. Germany are now looking at clusters and cluster control, with immediate local lockdowns of new outbreaks - in care homes, meat plants, churches etc - before they spread,
but letting the rest of the country continue with more relaxed measures

Many virologists think most / all of Europe can avoid a 2nd wave,
but even if there is one, the strategy will probably be using targeted measures and more local lockdowns, rather than another full lockdown

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