Sweden’s COVID response was flawed but allowed freedoms – commission & More News Here

People sit at tables at an outside bar in Stockholm, Sweden, July 1 2021. Stefan Jerrevang/TT News Agency/through REUTERS/File Photo

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  • Criticises choice to oppose masks, hold venues open
  • But says voluntary, no-lockdown coverage was right
  • Report may damage ruling occasion forward of elections
  • Sweden’s pandemic response polarised opinion

STOCKHOLM, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Sweden ought to have shut venues and brought different harder measures early within the COVID-19 pandemic, although its no-lockdown technique was broadly helpful, a commission mentioned on Friday.

Sweden polarised opinion at residence and overseas when it selected to not observe many of the remainder of the world in ordering lockdowns and adopted a largely voluntary method of selling social distancing and good hygiene.

The commission – arrange by the federal government beneath stress from parliament – mentioned Sweden’s broad coverage was “fundamentally correct”.

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“It meant that citizens retained more of their personal freedom than in many other countries,” the report learn.

But the panel of eight specialists, together with professors of economics and political science, mentioned the federal government ought to have taken clearer management and acted sooner.

The criticisms may turn into a legal responsibility for the ruling Social Democrats with elections due in September.

“In February-March 2020, Sweden should have opted for more rigorous and intrusive disease prevention and control measures,” the commission mentioned within the report.

It criticised choices to not shut venues corresponding to eating places and purchasing centres even briefly and to reject face masks early within the pandemic.

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It additionally mentioned the federal government had delegated an excessive amount of accountability to authorities businesses, primarily the Health Agency, and that it was not at all times clear who took choices.

“In a crisis, there must be no uncertainty about who is in charge,” it mentioned.

Sweden solely progressively tightened curbs and by no means closed colleges for youthful kids. Authorities ultimately beneficial masks, but just for conditions corresponding to rush hour commutes.

More than 17,000 individuals have died from or with COVID-19 in Sweden, much more per capita than amongst Nordic neighbours but fewer than in most European nations that opted for lockdowns.

Statistics company Eurostat figures confirmed the nation had 7.7% extra deaths in 2020 than its common for the previous 4 years, among the many lowest extra mortality charges in Europe. learn extra

Previous commission studies have highlighted severe deficiencies within the aged care going into the pandemic, corresponding to understaffing and poor hygiene.

Sweden has not seen the big-scale protests towards COVID curbs which have rocked many different nations.

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Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Niklas Pollard; Editing by Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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