Sweden’s handling of the covid – 19 pandemic has been “slow” and “insufficient”, a government-funded commission has said.
The report has criticized the Swedish government’s response to the health crisis and prevented the spread of the virus.
“Sweden’s handling of the pandemic has been marked by delays”, it said the Commission in its summary on Friday.
“The initial protection measures were insufficient to stop or even sharply limit the spread of infection in the country.”
The status report noted that it took more than six weeks for the Swedish Ministry of Social Affairs to ensure that personal protective equipment was provided to healthcare staff.
The Commission also said that it was a “failure” that Sweden achieved its target for April 2020 of 100,000 covid-19 tests per week in September.
Rescue workers had to take on the “extreme burden” of preparing for and adapting to the pandemic, the report added.
At the same time, the country’s preparedness for the health crisis was also described as “substandard”.
Unlike most of Europe, Sweden did not install any blocking restrictions during the first wave of infections, with only light measures in place.
Following criticism, the Swedish government introduced restrictions in the autumn of 2020, although fewer than in other EU countries.
Authorities instead relied heavily on voluntary recommendations for people to distance themselves socially while keeping businesses, schools and many public spaces open.
The government’s own commission has accepted that a majority had chosen a different COVD-19 strategy, but will postpone its assessment to its final report in February 2022.
As early as December, the Commission had presented a first report on the management of nursing homes, which it described as a “failure”.
Sweden has registered more than 15,000 deaths in the coronavirus, a much higher proportion per capita than in other Nordic countries.