SWEDEN’S chief epidemiologist has stated that the nation’s excessive coronavirus loss of life price may very well be linked to its aged inhabitants surviving a “gentle flu season”.
Professor Anders Tegnell, who’s main the response to the virus in Sweden, claimed that care house sufferers spared by final yr’s season flu outbreak might have died from Covid-19.
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Sweden opted in opposition to a lockdown in favour of a herd immunity technique[/caption]
Professor Anders Tegnell has stated that the nation’s excessive coronavirus loss of life price may very well be linked to its aged inhabitants surviving a “gentle flu season”[/caption]
Sweden controversially selected to not lock down in March in favour of a herd immunity technique – however specialists declare that this might now be the explanation behind its low price of an infection.
Retailers, eating places and faculties all remained open as the remainder of Europe went into lockdown, with the federal government advising the inhabitants to stay to social distancing and keep away from gatherings.
The nation to this point seems to have prevented a second wave of infections, with its present 14-day variety of instances per 100,000 standing at 28 – far beneath the UK at 72.eight and Spain at 310.9.
Nonetheless, critics of the technique have cited the nation’s excessive loss of life price compared to its Scandinavian neighbours, with a per capita loss of life price 5 instances greater than Denmark and ten instances greater than Norway and Finland.
The virus was additionally allowed to unfold nearly unchecked in care properties – which account for almost half of the nation’s Covid-19 fatalities.
And the general public well being chief of Stockholm at the moment warned of “worrying indicators of accelerating an infection” within the capital – and is discussing whether or not to impose new restrictions.
However Anders Tegnell instructed Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that Sweden’s excessive loss of life price may very well be right down to care house sufferers surviving final yr’s flu season.
He stated: “When many individuals die of the flu within the winter, fewer die in heatwaves the next summer season.
“What has now been seen is that the nations which have had a reasonably low mortality for influenza within the final two, three years, comparable to Sweden, have a really excessive extra mortality in Covid-19.
“These which had a excessive flu mortality price, comparable to Norway, over the past two winters, have pretty low Covid mortality.”
Professor Tegnell added: “The identical pattern has been seen in a number of nations. This will not be the entire clarification however a part of it.
“That relation additionally defined the excessive loss of life charges recorded within the UK and Belgium.”
However the declare was refuted by Tegnell’s Norwegian counterpart Frode Forland, who instructed The Native that “it doesn’t appear like there was a very excessive loss of life toll linked to influenza in recent times in Norway”.
Mr Forland, who’s /…, argued that the variations within the loss of life price between the 2 nations was right down to the Norwegian authorities’s choice to intervene and impose lockdown restrictions at an early stage within the pandemic.
Avoiding lock down has additionally seen Sweden’s economic system shrink by simply 9 per cent in contrast with the 20 per cent shock within the UK.
Tegnell has additionally resisted face masks legal guidelines, saying there may be “little or no proof” they’re efficient and only a few Swedes put on them.
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A latest research by the College of Stockholm means that an an infection price of 43 per cent is ample to accumulate herd immunity from the virus – slightly than the beforehand cited determine of 60 per cent.
Others warn it’s too early for Sweden to declare victory over the virus.
“I don’t assume it could already be dominated out that Sweden may also have a flare-up,” stated Prof Allan Randrup Thomsen of Aarhus College.