June 5, 2020 11h18
Coronavirus : 4 myths about the Swedish model
The Detector rumors
There has been much discussion of the approach of Sweden since the beginning of the pandemic. His management of the crisis, pretty unique, has earned him many critics. Is it a failure or the verdict is still to come ?
1) Sweden claims to aim for herd immunity ? False
Although many people doubt it, the official position of the Swedish authorities since the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19 is that they do not pursue a strategy of herd immunity — that is to say, a strategy that would be to let the virus circulate freely to ensure that the citizens are gradually inured to it. The epidemiologist-in-chief of the public health Agency of Sweden, Anders Tegnell, speaks rather for an approach that is ” flexible “, based on volunteerism and the assumption of responsibility of the individual.
Concretely, this means that the Swedish population has never been forced to confine. Only gatherings of over 50 people, non-essential travel, and close contact with the elderly, are prohibited.
The cafes, restaurants and bars remained open. Same thing for the schools for under 16 years of age. Telecommuting is encouraged and the measures of distancing physics are hammered out.
2) A higher mortality rate in Sweden ? It depends
At the beginning of June, the rate of deaths linked to the new coronavirus was 450 deaths per million people in Sweden, according to the website, Worldometer. This figure places the Kingdom of Sweden among the 10 countries that have the highest rates of deaths related to the COVID-19.
If we compare Sweden to its near neighbours, this the placed always at the beginning of June, far ahead of Denmark (99 deaths per million inhabitants), Finland (57) and Norway (44), which have all established containment measures. On the other hand, she did better than countries where the pandemic was particularly deadly, such as Spain (580), the United Kingdom (567) and Italy (555). And better than in Quebec, where the mortality rate was, at the beginning of the month, a little more than 550 deaths per million people.
These figures, however, must be relativized : each State compiles its own way the dead on its territory. This is what leads some experts, such as the epidemiologist, Nimâ Machouf, a lecturer at the School of public health, University of Montreal, say that it must instead compare Sweden’s neighbouring nordic countries, where the “demographic composition is similar”.
toin an interview on June 3, the radio public in sweden Anders Tegnell seemed to admit that the number of deaths was too high and that there was “clearly a potential for improvement”.
3) Without confinement, the economy is better ? Not really
Containment is strict or not, the Swedes have certainly changed their daily habits. According to data published by Google in may, they were less consumed, and are less moved than before the pandemic, in addition to having deserted offices.
This, among others, was to plague their economy. In a press release issued at the end of April, the Riksbank, Swedish central bank, published its economic forecasts for 2020. There was a contraction of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the order of 6.9 % to 9.7 %, according to two scenarios, one conservative, the other wrecked.
“The consequences [of the COVID-19] on the economy will depend on the spread of the virus and the duration of the restriction measures put in place to contain it”, said the Riksbank.
In comparison, Denmark, neighboring country of Sweden, estimates that its economy will contract by 5.3 % in 2020. Same thing in Norway, which expected a fall of 5.2 % of its GDP.
4) Without containment, many have acquired a immunity ? Not
The first results of a study conducted by the public health Agency of Sweden (and still ongoing) indicate that only 7.3% of the Stockholmois had developed antibodies against the COVID-19 at the end of April. The study was unveiled on 20 may.
This rate is well below expectations. As a reminder, the ambassador of Sweden to the United States claimed a month ago that the city would reach “a certain level of immunity”, going so far as to affirm that approximately 30 % of the inhabitants of the capital would have already been infected by the new coronavirus. According to the health Agency, this is clearly not the case.