'A Breakdown': Sweden's 'Belated' COVID Response Under Harsh Criticism From State Commission

© AFP 2022 / PETTER BERNTSENPontus Berglund (L) sits on the Swedish side while his brother Ola sits on the Norwegian side of the old bridge of Svinesund with the respective country flags and the new Svinesund Bridge in the background, in Svinesund, Norway and Sweden, on May 1, 2021
Pontus Berglund (L) sits on the Swedish side while his brother Ola sits on the Norwegian side of the old bridge of Svinesund with the respective country flags and the new Svinesund Bridge in the background, in Svinesund, Norway  and Sweden, on May 1, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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Sweden's maverick pandemic strategy, which led to excess morbidity and mortality, has received both criticism and praise both domestically and overseas, with critics calling it cruel and Darwinist and apologists hailing it for being sustainable and business-friendly.
Sweden's pandemic management has been belated, and its preparedness level was substandard, the so-called “Corona Commission”, tasked with investigating the country's COVID-19 response, found in its second interim report.
Once again, harsh criticism has been unleashed against the authorities and responsible bodies, the newswire TT reported.
“Sweden's handling of the pandemic has been marked by lateness. The initial protection measures were insufficient to stop or even sharply limit the spread of infection in the country,” the Commission said in the interim report.

Among others, the report berated the authorities for the poor availability of protective equipment and their failure to rectify it.

“The six weeks in February and the beginning of March [2020] therefore appear to the Commission to be a waste of time to remedy the lack of protective equipment,” the Commission wrote.

The Commission also pointed out in the interim report that Sweden's neighbouring countries were quicker in getting special legislation in place, which, among other things, made it possible to restrict the spread. Sweden, by contrast, delayed measures such as family quarantines and face masks in public transport, the report said, citing a “significantly more dramatic” spread.
“Explicitly relinquishing these measures during the first wave and then adopting them during the second wave without clear justification reasonably created confusion in people and could hardly have contributed to a high degree of compliance”, the Commission found.
The interim report also found the overall preparedness level for the pandemic “substandard”. In particular, regional authorities were harshly criticised for their protracted delay before finally launching mass tests in the summer of 2020. The Commission concluded that it is up to the regions to test people who potentially carry a dangerous disease. The debates about responsibility and financing that further delayed the testing were described as a “breakdown”.

The fact that the health service nevertheless ultimately became able to scale up the treatment of COVID-19 patients was described as “largely the merit of the staff”.
Finally, the Commission concluded that the consequences of the pandemic will remain in place for a long time.
The Commission was established in June 2020 and was tasked with evaluating Sweden's measures during the pandemic. In the first interim report, presented in December 2020, the Commission ruled, among other things, that Sweden “failed to protect the elderly”.
In 2020, Sweden raised eyebrows and made international headlines for going its own way in tackling the novel coronavirus. Instead of locking down and introducing massive restrictions, as most European countries did, including its neighbours, Sweden initially proceeded in a routine manner, with only recommendations in place and no mandatory rules to be observed whatsoever – an approach which took months to change. This maverick way of handling the pandemic continues to come under scrutiny from medical experts, who suspect it to be the culprit behind excess morbidity and mortality. While restrictions were gradually tightened in later waves of the pandemic Sweden started to wind them down again earlier in the autumn and has since lifted most.
Virus 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
'Delay and Inadequacy': Prof Blasts Sweden's 'Deliberate Spread' of COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Sweden has recorded more than 15,000 deaths from coronavirus, many times the per capita level of its Nordic neighbours, yet fewer than some countries that had extensive lockdowns such as the UK. Sweden's overall cases count of 1.17 million people in a country of over 10 million is also higher than in its Nordic peers combined.
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