Sweden’s way of acting during the corona pandemic may be a model for the future. This is the opinion of WHO crisis management officer Michael J Ryan.
- What has been done differently is that you have really trusted your own population.
The world’s eyes were once again directed at Sweden during the World Health Organization’s daily press meeting. WHO Chief Michael J Ryan was asked about Sweden’s strategy and whether Sweden can cope better with a second wave of contagion because there have not been as strict measures as many other countries.
- There seems to be a perception that Sweden has not introduced any measures but just let the disease spread, but nothing could be further from the truth. What has been done differently is that they have relied on the relationship with the citizens, and on the citizens’ ability and willingness to implement physical distancing and self-regulation, he said.
If they succeed or fail to see fully, he continued, recalling that one does not know to what extent people become immune after being infected.
“A model for the future”
WHO believes that Sweden’s strategy can be a model for the future.
“I believe that if we are to reach a new normal situation, Sweden can in many ways represent a model for the future,” said Michael J Ryan.
When the countries of the world re-open their societies, we will have to adapt to a period where our physical and social relations are limited by the presence of the virus, says Michael J Ryan. And there Sweden is a role model.
- It will mean an adaptation of our way of life, and I think that in Sweden they see how to do it in real time.
The medical service received praise
During the press conference, healthcare in Sweden was also raised as a positive example.
- They have implemented public health policy in partnership with the population. They have tested, increased the capacity of intensive care quite significantly, and their health systems have always stayed within their capacity to cope with the cases they have had, said Michael J Ryan.
The fact that a large proportion of deaths linked to covid-19 occurred in elderly housing in Sweden was also raised, but according to the WHO chief, it is not unique to Sweden.
- Like many other countries in Europe, Sweden has had many infection clusters on the elderly, but unfortunately and tragically, this is not unique in Europe. Many countries across Europe have had similar tragedies in recent months and this is something that really needs to be carefully reviewed.
After Michael J Ryan, WHO Chief Executive Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at the press conference, adding:
- It may be a coincidence, but I actually got a letter from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven today. He told me about the strict measures that are being taken.
SVT’s reporter: “WHO is concerned”
SVT’s science reporter Johan Bergendorff finds the WHO chief’s statement interesting.
- It is obvious that WHO is worried about what will happen now for many countries that have much tougher rules. When you release this now there is a risk that it will flare up again.