Sweden’s different Covid strategy looks shaky

Sweden has taken a far less restrictive approach to containing the Covid-19 virus. In Do the consequences of this lockdown really match the threat? University of Auckland senior lecturer and epidemiologist Simon Thornley writes:

We don’t want to squash a flea with a sledgehammer and bring the house down. I believe that other countries, such as Sweden, are steering a more sensible course through this turbulent time.

It will probably take months to see which approach to containing the virus, limiting deaths and not damaging the economy too much worked best, but the situation in Sweden doesn’t look that good at the moment compared to New Zealand, and not great compared to many countries.

From the link in Thornley’s commment:

Universities have been closed, and on Friday, the government tightened the ban on events to limit them to no more than 50 people. But if you develop symptoms, you can still go back to work or school just two days after you feel better. If a parent starts showing symptoms, they’re allowed to continue to send their children to school.

“I feel that the Swedish government is handling this very reasonably,” argues Erika Lindquist, who is drinking with her brother and Danish husband at another table at the Nyhavn. “They’re listening to the health department; they’re listening to the experts they have on hand.”

There is criticism, however. More than 2,000 Swedish university researchers published a joint letter on Wednesday questioning the Public Health Agency’s position, while the previous week saw leading epidemiologists attack the agency in emails leaked to Swedish television.

It has only been in the past couple of days that the death toll has started to increase significantly, rising by a third in a single day on Thursday and Friday, with 92 people now dead and 209 in intensive care. As he announced the tighter restrictions on Friday, the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, warned that the coming weeks and months would be tough.

This chart shows that number of cases in Sweden are 21st on the list but that’s in part because they are not testing as much as other countries, and their cases and deaths are climbing.

From https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries – daily totals are from GMT+0 (that’s 1pm yesterday NZ time).

Also, while Swedish deaths per 1 m population are lower than the worst countries in Europe and Iran, they are higher than most other countries.

And there are other opinions on how well Sweden is doing.

Forbes: Why Sweden’s Coronavirus Approach Is So Different From Others

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven asked all citizens to avoid non-essential travel and for those who feel ill or are over the age of 70 to stay home, but has so far stopped short of implementing many of the strict emergency measures seen in Denmark and Norway. “Us adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumours. No one is alone in this crisis, but each person carries a heavy responsibility,” he said during a recent televised speech.

But

Despite the government choosing to issue guidance over the implementation of restrictions, many locals are taking things into their own hands. The public transport company of Stockholm reported a fall in passenger numbers of 50% last week.

There’s mounting criticism among doctors and academics on Sweden’s “wait and see” approach. While Denmark and Norway closed their borders and imposed strict regulations on their residents, Sweden has done relatively little.

Is the strategy working?

According to the Swedish Institute of Public Health’s daily briefing of March 30, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country has passed 4,000. The number is very similar to the infection rate in Norway, yet twice as many people live in Sweden.

However, Akinmade Åkerström says there’s a simple reason for the relatively low infection numbers: “Very few people are being tested so it’s impossible to know the true spread of the illness.”

While the infection numbers are difficult to compare, the difference in death rate is more clear-cut. At the time of writing, 146 people with COVID-19 have died in Sweden. In Norway, that number stands at 32.

Those are the current totals. Norway’s deaths per 1m population are 6.

Finland currently has 13 deaths, 2 per 1m population.

Two days ago, the Swedish Public Health Agency’s Karin Tegmark Wisell said in a radio interview that it was “too soon to tell” if the Swedish approach is proving successful.

It’s too soon to tell about a lot of things about Covid. Sweden may prove to have taken a more balanced successful approach than other countries, but if deaths keep rising they may change tack and try to clamp down like many other countries.

The population of Sweden is about 10 million, about, a bit over double New Zealand. They have a lot higher case and death rates, but being close to the big problem areas in Europe they are probably ahead of us in spread, so a direct comparison isn’t possible.

Sweden has over seven times as many active cases, and 306 serious/critical cases compared to 2 in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s single death so far and a flattening of case growth suggests that our lockdown approach has been at least no worse than Sweden’s far more unrestricted strategy at this stage, but it will take time to compare them properly


UPDATE:

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69 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    The endpoint is what counts. If you reach it slowly with your economy destroyed with the same number of deaths as those who got their quickly with an intact economy you have lost very badly.

    Reply
    • How you best get to the end point is what counts right now, and there is no way of knowing what is the best way to minimise the death rates and then impact on the economy.

      It’s a matter of trying minimise what will be lost on both counts.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st March 2020

        It’s bizarre that Trump is taking flak for pushing his lockdown end target out by a couple of weeks while others imply theirs will probably last a year.

        Reply
        • Art Croft

           /  31st March 2020

          Its because Trump is a fool and everyone knows it. He spent the last part of his speech announcing an extension to the lock down accusing nurses of stealing face masks.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2020

            That’s a very tiny sideshow beside the difference between a one year and one month shutdown.

            Reply
        • He’s pushed it out by a month. And said “April 30 is a day where we can see some real progress” so no certainty it will end then, and also vaguely referred to “And we expect to see that, short of June 1…”

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2020

          Well, you really need to watch yesterday’s full well over an hour of blithering by Trump to fully understand why he’s getting flack, Al.

          This is just some tiny segments, but you really need to find the time to sit thru his whole disjointed performance to see these excerpts fully in context. He often returns to whines & gripes & blitherings, which is why he sometimes accuses reporters of later misquoting him – because he’s repeated himself but then ad libbed some variation.

          Classic example was the other day when he accused governors he doesn’t like of not being appreciative enough of what HE is doing – which, he kept saying, meant they were therefore disrespecting FEMA, and the US Military, & every member on his Task Force team, and equipment manufacturers, & diatributors etc etc. But they weren’t.

          Trump’s narcissism is so overwhelming he really does think he now embodies the US.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2020

            Sure but none of that is relevant to the bizarre disjoints about desired lockdown extents.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              If you want to hear bizarre disjoints about lockdown exits, watch Trump’s full briefing performance yesterday & you’ll even see them coming from him. The dork is all over the place at these briefings.

              Biden – who I have little time for – gave him some good advice a day or two ago. He said he needs to stop thinking out loud and start thinking more deeply. But he can’t. It’s not in his dna. He’s never had to. He’s gone from being the top dog in two little empires when he could get away with all sorts of bullshit & ignorance to now being top dog in a nation empire, when he can’t.

              He doesn’t have the mental capacity to do that.

    • This is the end stage of capitalism, where markets don’t exist to serve people; people exist to serve markets. And that means people should be willing to sacrifice anything, including their lives, to prevent market disruption.

      It took us this to realise we live in a society not an economy.

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st March 2020

    The latest opinion seems to be that hospitals are the worst places to treat the disease because of co-infections (plus the awful constraints on the family comforting the dying) and the focus should be on treatment at home.

    That eliminates the rationale for flattening the peak.

    Reply
    • David

       /  31st March 2020

      They are finding this in the UK, if you are 85 with serious underlying health conditions what is the point in putting you on a ventilator and delaying your death by 3 weeks spent under sedation. Have your last time on earth with a bit more quality, a decision often taken absent Covid 19.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  31st March 2020

        I would add ‘and with a bit more dignity.’

        The sight of someone on a ventilator is a grim one. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and wouldn’t want it myself.

        Reply
  3. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    Opinion piece in todays Stuff on ‘possible error in estimating fatality rate
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120666809/do-the-consequences-of-this-lockdown-really-match-the-threat

    “The Diamond Princess ship is one of the few examples of a closed population who were all tested for the disease. Seven deaths occurred in 700 test-positive patients, giving us a case-fatality rate of 1 per cent.

    Remember, this was an elderly population. Calculations show that, if these rates were translated to a Western country’s overall age structure, the statistic would be 0.125 per cent (interval of plausible values: 0.025 per cent to 0.625 per cent), higher than normal flu (~0.1 per cent), but not by much.

    Converting the age structure from the DP to fit the actual population is a necessary step for cruises which have a majority of old people . But maybe the rates could edge higher again as cruise ships tend to be the older, more active, wealthier demographic as well.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  31st March 2020

      Checking his ‘expertness’
      https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/s-thornley
      His research areas include epidemiology and biostatistics, which are the right areas for him to base hiscovid opinion

      Reply
      • I thought he could have written his column before things started curving up in Sweden, but the article he linked to recognised the surge. he may take more care with research papers.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  31st March 2020

          A ‘surge’ means what ? As he says in europe there is these peaks in deaths of elderly with multiple conditions anyway .

          Reply
    • artcroft

       /  31st March 2020

      Yeah but all the infected patients were pulled off the ship and treated at a functioning hospital. Different scenario when; you have thousands of cases simultaneously and nowhere to treat them because hospitals have stopped working.

      Reply
      • David

         /  31st March 2020

        Why isnt our government ordering bulk ventilators/CPAPs which every other country is doing, we have just 50 ventilators in Canterbury.
        We should be doing this and if we dont have to use them so what, we have tanked the economy on the off chance.
        https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52087002

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2020

          I believe from something either Jacinda or Bloomfield said a day or two ago they are trying to source ventilators but a related issue is that they each need to be monitored 24/7 by properly trained personnel so it’s not just a case of getting more & problem solved. I dunno if we manufacture them here. It was an obvious question none of our lightweight reporters thought to ask. If we don’t, then we will be competing internationally for a scare resource that other countries are too.

          Reply
          • Dr Bloomfield said last week that they had recently replaced ventilators and were checking to see if the old ones could be brought back into service. But yes, skilled use of them takes training and time, it’s far more complicated than just getting more units.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  31st March 2020

              What happens if we don’t need them after all, which seems highly likely ?

            • David

               /  31st March 2020

              The more I see of Bloomfield the less confidence I have in him. I will check to see if the old ventilators work, umm why havent you done that already and tried to get some more/asked someone local to make them. He is changing the protocol in hospitals now for people with flu like symptoms, umm why didnt you do that 3 weeks ago before dozens of healthcare workers were exposed.
              I find the civil defence woman even more wishy washy but at least its better than our PM who seems concerned about the price of a loaf of bread and is having the state set up a website.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              @ David

              The more I see of Bloomfield the less confidence I have in him.

              Yes. I’ve watched several of his briefings where they’ve been embedded in articles (sometimes as Youtube videos, same as Jacinda’s). Must admit he seems to be more interested in reading out stats than giving sound reasons for the limited testing criteria regime & knowing what capacity we have in the health system. Not one to admit to deficiencies. Much prefer the kind of leader who is.

              I can’t find anyone else giving out stats for “probables”. Might not be a bad thing. But hisvoriginal explanation of what they are was woefully incomprehensible.

  4. RNZ Live:

    Here’s more from Professor Nick Wilson who was on Morning Report earlier:

    “The worst case scenario is when elimination fails, the virus spread is uncontrolled and we’re looking at up to 64 percent of New Zealanders getting sick, up to 32,000 needing hospitalisation and up to 14,000 potentially dying so those are very severe potential outcomes.
    “Our modelling was based on the hospitals and ICUs being able to function and as we can see in places like Italy and Spain and now New York that may be an over cautious assumption.

    “The death rate would certainly increase dramatically if hospitals and ICUs were overwhelmed.”

    Prof Wilson says New Zealand is doing the right thing by going into lockdown.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st March 2020

      How come only 700 of the 3700 on the Diamond Princess were detected as infected then? Where does this 65% of NZ infected come from when the ship had less than 20%?

      Reply
      • Where all passengers allowed to mingle indefinitely? Or were passengers isolated in their cabins? I thought there were a lot of isolations, which would have reduced the infection spreading.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st March 2020

          I thought it was well established that the isolation on board strategy was a horrible failure.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  31st March 2020

            I believe that infected passengers were removed from the ship, meaning the would have a very reduced chance of passing on the infection. Models I’ve seen show this sort of quarantining (quickly identifying the infected and removing them from the general population) is extremely effective.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  31st March 2020

              The people on board were tested by age , oldest and youngest first Only those positive were removed and the testing took some time and of course results were maybe 2 days to come back.
              Initially only those ‘sick’ were removed and eventually the last to leave were the well and those with no symptoms but who tested positive anyway.
              The virus lasts on surfaces around 3 days and is passed to person to person. Isolation was encouraged but being so confined plus the crew circulating made it what it is .
              Its pointless trying to over analyse the ship circumstances , yes its more crowded than a typical NZ suburb plus they were older demographic than the average of any country.

        • Griff.

           /  31st March 2020

          First case feb 1 the ship was lock down all passengers confined to cabins feb 5 .
          The lock down did not stop infections happening but certainly limited the transmissions.
          We note they ignore efforts to limit the spread that translates into what we are doing as a nation.
          Also of note as an antidote for some of the garbage being posted here .
          Only 18% of cases found after testing all on board were asymptomatic. There is no large factor of cases being missed due to not showing symptoms .

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  31st March 2020

            What the ship data tells us that every person on board was tested . Thats the real relevance. Something like 3700 passengers and crew.
            We would never get that even in a major town any where

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2020

            That presumes the tests found all positive cases but the tests produce a significant proportion of false negatives also dependent on the progress of the disease.

            Reply
  5. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    “He is just one of many people who have ignored infectious diseases, believing they aren’t as important as non-communicable diseases. He’s wrong.”
    Thats a surprise PG , running a counter argument that ‘questions some ones expertness’.

    That doesnt happen when you agree with people like ‘expert’ Catriona Maclennan like the other day you even raised eyebrows ‘what has that got to do with it’

    She raises good points , but misses that Dr Thornley did write the study on the Diamond Princess , hes only quoting from it as an epidemiologist. The study on the DP was done by Stanford Scientist
    John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University who is also co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.
    Take that Siouxie!

    Reply
    • “when you agree with people like ‘expert’ Catriona Maclennan like the other day”

      That’s false. I didn’t say anything about agreeing with her. Someone suggested it as a post, I thought it was something worth discussing so I put it up in a post. And you immediately started to attack the messenger more than than address what she said.

      Giving police additional powers (on top of already substantial powers) should be a concern to everyone, at least ensuring that the additional powers are used reasonably in the circumstances and not abused. That’s a fundamental issue in a policed society.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  31st March 2020

        “Giving police additional powers (on top of already substantial powers) should be a concern to everyone, at least ensuring that the additional powers are used reasonably in the circumstances and not abused”

        If you give them the power, those powers will be abused. That is a simple truth.

        Western society is build of a fundamental premise that all people are free. This has been inverted in the blind of an eye with the police having the power to decide if you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ to be outside. All driven by nothing more than a mass hysteria, fueled by a media gleefully.

        The purpose of science is to free us from the tyranny of experts.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st March 2020

          The purpose of science is to free us from the tyranny of experts.

          Don’t be daft Pinky. Pages & pages have been written on the purpose of “science”. Why end an otherwise reasonable argument for debate with really stupid slogan like that.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  31st March 2020

            Your the ones locked in your homes by the say of ‘experts;. And that is the purpose of science, it removes the need for calls to authority that are rife when it’s little more than various experts arguing over who is more credential than that other expert.

            Yet that is exactly where you are.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              I’m well aware of where we are & how we got here. But even here, look how many armchair experts there are arguing over & citing god knows how many conflicting viewpoints from their own preferred overseas “scientific” experts. I’ve now switched off from most of the stuff that’s got into TL:DR territory. Maths & stats Re not my forte. What I can see, though, is there’s too much data & too many assumptions, everywhere. Things will only be clearer with hindsight, as they often are.

          • Duker

             /  31st March 2020

            In any university corridor there far bigger range of opinions, often diametrically opposed to their colleagues, on much the same area.
            The long term approach weeds out the bumpf and the unreproducible studies that proliferate today.
            In aviation and construction we happily get by with safety factors of 1.5 , but heath experts seem to insist on 100x – just in case/worst case.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  31st March 2020

            Tell that to Feinstein who said it, G. He was a lot smarter than the average bear.

            What he meant was that data and experiment trump expert opinion. Don’t listen to the words, examine the facts.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              What he meant was that data and experiment trump expert opinion. Don’t listen to the words, examine the facts.

              The reslly smart people are the ones who know that if you want the average bear to understand what you mean, ypu say “Data and experiment trump expert opinion. Don’t listen to so-called experts’ words, examine the facts.”

              Instead of trying to be a clever dick with dopey slogan.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              PS:
              1. Dammit. *ypu = you
              2. Who’s Feinstein?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2020

              Damn. The mad senator messed with my names. Richard Feynman.

            • Gezza

               /  31st March 2020

              Ha! I thought you probably meant Feynman. 😀

              Yes, a seriously smart man. Probably used that slogan in a clearer conrext than Pinky did above.

              Who do you reckon the wanker is who downticked me?

            • Pink David

               /  31st March 2020

              “Feynman’

              Feynman is badly missed in this situation.

    • Griff.

       /  31st March 2020

      John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University who is also co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.
      Take that Siouxie!
      .
      His study is not worth reading because events have proven it so wrong already .
      Plenty of papers get written this will be one of those that sinks without trace leaving just the residue black mark on the writers academic record .
      That is a tick to Siouxie! and a cross to both the writer and the idiot who referenced it without checking its accuracy.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  31st March 2020

        “His study is not worth reading because events have proven it so wrong already .”

        Proven by whom?

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  31st March 2020

          His study is not worth reading because events have proven it so wrong already .

          Events is not a whom Dave.
          Events mean like reality Dave you know the actual numbers and all .
          Gee its like dealing with retarded six year olds when you have to explain what words like events mean.

          The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

          He based his entire piece on information that was outdated when he wrote it .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_on_cruise_ships#cite_note-12th-20
          10 into 710 does not equal 1 %
          Even worse the cases on the princess are not even resolved yet, there are still 99 cases still infected and 15 listed as critical. Wiki now gives 12 deaths with links to the Japanese sources.
          I don’t care if he is a professor from Stanford and a so called expert he wrote total garbage that he has not even bothered to withdraw as far as i can tell..
          Until all cases are resolved no epidemiologist worth a shite would make such unqualified pronouncements on such an impotent subject .
          That this guy did makes him not worth considering as any sort of expert.
          That you lot keep quoting garbage makes you gullible idiots as usual .

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  31st March 2020

            You are showing your complete ignorance
            “10 into 710 does not equal 1 %”
            They adjust the data statistically to account for the DP passengers mostly being ‘really old’
            The original paper has been updated as the testing was completed and more deaths …not like its doubled or anything.

            Even in Europe an extra 1000 extra deaths per week from covid 19 isnt even statistically significant as the usual winter range is 50-70,000 per week.

            Dont you have you lego to play with while the big boys work on the big problems

            Reply
          • Griff.

             /  31st March 2020

            Duker he used only 7 deaths to get his % for the diamond princess . It is in writing in his piece.
            https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

            there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew

            You are making shit up.like a nutbar.

            The original paper has been updated as the testing was completed and more deaths …not like its doubled or anything.

            7 is the number he used The actual death count is 12 and 15 cases still in ICU it will be well more than double once the true total death count is resolved .

            Then we have his estimate of the impact of covid on the USA

            If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a mid-range guess from my Diamond Princess analysis — and that 1% of the U.S. population gets infected (about 3.3 million people), this would translate to about 10,000 deaths. This sounds like a huge number, but it is buried within the noise of the estimate of deaths from “influenza-like illness.” If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year.

            Yesterday 573 dearths from covid in the USA and doubling every three days for the last month .
            Yet this expert is estimating 10,000 total deaths in a year .
            He is proven an idiot a week after he made this crap up.

            Reply
  6. artcroft

     /  31st March 2020

    “The worst case scenario is when elimination fails,…

    Are we trying to eliminate it or suppress it?

    Reply
  7. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    Plus a look at Siouxie’s research papers she has co -authored

    Ryder, B. M., Sandford, S. K., Manners, K. M., Dalton, J. P., Wiles, S., & Kirman, J. R. (2019). Gr1(int/high) Cells Dominate the Early Phagocyte Response to Mycobacterial Lung Infection in Mice
    Sun, Y., Emolo, C., Holtfreter, S., Wiles, S., Kreiswirth, B., Missiakas, D., & Schneewind, O. (2018). Staphylococcal Protein A Contributes to Persistent Colonization of Mice with Staphylococcus aureus.
    Schulz, D., Grumann, D., Trübe P, Pritchett-Corning, K., Johnson, S., Reppschläger K, … Berg, S. (2017). Laboratory mice are frequently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus and mount a systemic immune response

    basically she studies infections in mice.
    People in glass houses shouldnt throw stones , you should have checked Wiles ‘expertness PG ?
    https://unidirectory.auckland.ac.nz/profile/s-wiles

    Reply
    • “Plus a look at Siouxie’s research papers she has co -authored”

      That’s misleading, you’ve cherry picked just some of the Research Outputs she has co-authored.

      Maybe I should check your expertness at diverting and trying to discredit messengers (although it’s more amateurish than expertise).

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  31st March 2020

        “Maybe I should check your expertness at diverting and trying to discredit messengers (although it’s more amateurish than expertise).

        Druker is absolutely right to question the messenger when they are using the ‘trust me, I’m an EXPERT” approach. Doubly so, when they use the ‘don’t trust him, because he’s less of an EXPERT than I” as well.

        There will be a reckoning at the end of this.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        Not cherry picking at all, there was a consistent research on mice , some I didnt mention. She does research on non infection areas as well
        Non-invasive imaging
        Bioluminescence

        A review on anti-tuberculosis peptides: Impact of peptide structure on anti-tuberculosis activity”
        Isnt really relevant, structures of peptides ? 4 of the list mention animals

        Its you thats Clutching at straws and you are quite happy to run every ‘worst case story around’ as you should if dont want to give much creedence to those with a different
        And what about the Stanford Professor

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  31st March 2020

      I think Wiles has a little bit of a background. Her research being cited more than 2,000 times suggests she didn’t just go to the lab to drink coffee. Falling into the trap of minimising her knowledge with ‘basically she studies infections in mice’ gives focus to the quality of your dismissal.

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Siouxsie_Wiles

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st March 2020

        She is the one minimising some one elses credentials,But her research on infections is largely on mice. No one is saying she was drinking coffee. Thats a complete diversion by yourself.

        Yet the Diamond Princess study was from a team at Sanford , whose lead author says the same thing as Horley
        https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/
        Prof IOANNIDIS background makes Wiles look like an undergraduate – of course shes still a go to person for mice studies

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  31st March 2020

          Okay you made your point, her research on infections because it was largely on mice, means she doesn’t know what she’s talking about and if her opinion about something is different than some learned person, she is wrong.

          She clearly has more than mice against her, she has (what I used to call) garish coloured hair, she is in the media a lot, she hasn’t come out (I don’t think) as anti-Ardern and some of the total amateurs don’t agree with her assumptions and conclusions. A great target.

          Experts invariably have a range of opinions about what something means. I accept I know less about microbiology that them maybe that’s why I’m not going around saying this one is right that one is wrong.

          The coffee thing wasn’t a diversion. You have minimised what she studied, what it meant and the wider ramifications of what came from her studies. I can’t be bothered looking for her dissertations or theses to prove to myself she doesn’t have the expertise to have opinions on microbiology in the current situation because her research on infections was largely on mice.
          I think over her years of research she gained a little bit more knowledge than most though. Us included.

          By the way Wiles only studied mice. Did Ioannidis use animals for his research? Or people?

          Reply
          • oldlaker

             /  31st March 2020

            Wiles is neither an epidemiologist nor an expert on viruses (her speciality is bacteria). If her opinion is well argued and has the data to back it, that’s fine by me, but slagging off anyone else as being out of their specific area of expertise is a bit rich.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st March 2020

              Yes. As I said, it seemed catty and suggestive of some previous bad blood between them. Or maybe the media queen only likes courtiers.

  8. Pink David

     /  31st March 2020

    “Sweden has taken a far less restrictive approach to containing the Covid-19 virus. ”

    It’s not just Sweden. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan all have had far less restrictive policies. NZ has taken the most extreme course.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2020

      A South Korean tabletop exercise on emergency responses to a fictional mysterious outbreak led directly to tools the country deployed less than a month later to manage the arrival and spread of the coronavirus, one of the experts involved said.

      According to an undisclosed government document seen by Reuters, on 17 December two dozen leading South Korean infectious diseases specialists tackled a worrying scenario: a South Korean family contracts pneumonia after a trip to China, where cases of an unidentified disease had arisen.

      The hypothetical disease quickly spreads among the colleagues of the family members and medical workers who treated them. In response, the team of experts at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) developed an algorithm to find the pathogen and its origin, as well as testing techniques.

      Those measures were mobilized in real life when a first suspected coronavirus patient appeared in South Korea on 20 January, the document said.

      “We might be a bit overreacting at that time with just a few domestic infections, but there were substantial possibilities it would reach pandemic levels indeed,” Lee said.

      “Have we done well? I don’t know. But we didn’t want to repeat what we went through in 2015 – our motto was ‘never again.'”

      More…
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/412970/south-korean-emergency-exercise-led-to-faster-covid-19-response

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st March 2020

      About South Korea – but article also discusses Japan, Hong Kong & Singapore Covid-19 responses …

      “In mid-January, our health authorities quickly conferred with the research institutions here [to develop a test],” Kang said. “And then they shared that result with the pharmaceutical companies, who then produced the reagent [chemical] and the equipment needed for the testing.”

      So when members of a religious sect in Daegu started getting sick in February, South Korea was able to rapidly confirm that it was COVID-19.

      “Testing is central” to the outbreak response, said Kang, “because that leads to early detection. It minimizes further spread.” And it allows health authorities to quickly isolate and treat those found with the virus.

      Hong Kong and Singapore have followed similar paths in responding to this outbreak.

      They’ve used testing aggressively to identify cases — not only testing people who are so sick that they’re hospitalized but also mild cases and even suspected cases. They’ve quarantined tens of thousands of people who may have been exposed to confirmed cases.

      The vast majority of the people ordered to quarantine at home are perfectly healthy and never do get sick, but the few who do develop symptoms can be quickly isolated further. Tedros of the WHO refers to this as cutting off the virus at the bud — basically stopping the virus from spreading further and preventing community transmission.”

      More
      https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/26/821688981/how-south-korea-reigned-in-the-outbreak-without-shutting-everything-down

      I don’t think we have the testing capacity to do this.

      Reply
    • The rapid and extensive measures taken by South Korea has been judged successful in limiting the spread of the outbreak despite not using the drastic measure of quarantining entire cities.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_South_Korea

      Japan and South Korea are clamping down on border movements.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/japan-and-south-korea-tighten-borders-as-us-faces-up-to-200000-covid-19-deaths

      Reply
  9. Duker

     /  31st March 2020

    The lead Author of the Stanford Study on the Diamond Princess
    JOHN P.A. IOANNIDIS
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/
    Although successful surveillance systems have long existed for influenza, the disease is confirmed by a laboratory in a tiny minority of cases. In the U.S., for example, so far this season 1,073,976 specimens have been tested and 222,552 (20.7%) have tested positive for influenza. In the same period, the estimated number of influenza-like illnesses is between 36,000,000 and 51,000,000, with an estimated 22,000 to 55,000 flu deaths.

    Even when do have good data from US the ‘range of deaths’ is plus or minus 10s of thousands.

    Reply
  1. Covid-19 deaths per 1m | Your NZ
  2. NZ Academics argue over Covid-19 | Your NZ

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