COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Sweden’s response to the spread of the coronavirus was too slow and its preparations for dealing with a pandemic were insufficient, a scathing official report concluded on Friday.
The Scandinavian country has stood out among European nations for its comparatively practical response to the pandemic, emphasizing individual responsibility and choice instead of mandatory state health measures.
In its preliminary results, the new report said that Sweden’s initial protective measures were “insufficient to stop or even severely limit the spread of infection”, and that its solution to counteract the outbreak “was based on voluntariness and personal responsibility, rather than more intrusive measures. ”
It added that Swedish laws were “insufficient to deal with a serious epidemic or pandemic outbreak”, and that the country’s infection control system was decentralized, making it “unclear who is responsible for the whole when a serious infectious disease strikes the country.”
Earlier this week, Sweden crossed the threshold of 15,000 deaths with covid-19.
Minister of Social Affairs Lena Hallengren told the news agency TT that she agrees with the criticism and says that it “could have been done differently”.
The latest report was in line with a report from December 2020 which said that the Swedish center-left government failed to adequately protect the elderly in nursing homes from covid-19 and was ultimately responsible for the effects of the pandemic.
In neighboring Denmark, 1,784 news cases of covid-19 were registered on Friday, the tenth day in a row where the number of people recently infected in Denmark has been over 1,000.
The Danish Patient Safety Authority said they reactivated their coronavirus task force in the capital of Copenhagen, which saw most of the new cases. The task force was closed down in June.
Due to the large number of vaccinations in Denmark, the government lifted most of its restrictions on the coronavirus on 19 September.
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