Swedish epidemiologist admits Covid-19 mistakes

The Swedish approach to dealing with Covid-19 has received a lot of attention, both in favour and critical. Their top epidemiologist now says that more should have been done to limit deaths.

Sweden has had about 4,500 deaths to date and has a relatively high death rate per million (450).

Stuff: Swedish disease expert admits Covid-19 mistakes

Sweden’s top epidemiologist says more should have been done in his country to tackle Covid-19 at the start of the outbreak, in order to keep the death rate down.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Anders Tegnell said in an interview with Swedish Radio.

Tegnell is the brains behind Sweden’s controversial approach to fighting the virus, and the government of Stefan Lofven has deferred to the epidemiologist in its official response to the pandemic.

“Clearly, there is potential for improvement in what we have done in Sweden,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said earlier this week that the government would launch an inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In retrospect I think that all countries will see that things could have been done better, but it could take a year or two to get a full picture to judge actions against.

Health officials and politicians had to make big decisions during a rapidly evolving pandemic.

New Zealand (with about half the population of Sweden) has done fairly well so far with just 22 deaths and 1,504 cases, but what has been done here should also be scrutinised.

Australia as a whole has had fairly similar outcomes (102 deaths, 7,229 cases) but some states have done much better than others.

Queensland has had just 6 deaths (population a little less than new Zealand) and West Australia has had 9 deaths (population about half ours).

And of course the social and economic effects and a range of other factors need to be taken into account.

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65 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  4th June 2020

    How will the scrutiny occur?
    National promoting a Royal Commission but I doubt the current Gummit would see a need.
    If National win the election.will they initiate one?
    Nah!

    Reply
  2. Pink David

     /  4th June 2020

    “And of course the social and economic effects and a range of other factors need to be taken into account.”

    How many will die from these? Is it ten times the number of Covid deaths, or 100 times?

    Reply
    • Alan Foster

       /  4th June 2020

      Let’s scaremonger & make it 1,000 times. Sweden death rate 74 yesterday.
      Fact – their death rate is 100 times NZs

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  4th June 2020

        Well, it was scaremongering that enabled the lockdown and destruction of billions, so I was very light on the numbers.

        It will almost certainly be a thousand times. Japan manged to have almost no deaths without this insane lockdown, perhaps NZ could learn from them.

        Reply
        • Alan Foster

           /  4th June 2020

          I look forward to you proving that it will be 1,000 times – Japanese deaths are 900 – twice that of NZ per capita. I wish you would stick to the facts.
          Before this, you were saying that we should have followed Sweden – are you changing your mind on this now?
          How many NZers would you have like to have killed off?

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  4th June 2020

            “Japanese deaths are 900 – twice that of NZ per capita”

            Do you want to control that comparison based off demographics? You want want the facts after all. Japan has a massively higher population of 80+ yo people. Only 900 deaths is completely unexplained by the modelling used anywhere in the world. The place should be a necropolis according to the ‘science’ NZ used.

            Ultimately, comparing deaths with covid like a league table is pointless. The only valid measure we have is excess deaths.

            “Before this, you were saying that we should have followed Sweden – are you changing your mind on this now?”

            We should have done exactly what Sweden did, with protection around the rest homes. That’s exactly what Australia did with the worst flu outbreak they had in decades 2 years ago. We knew the at risk population, that has been clear from day one. Locking down the entire population without any scientific justification has been mad.

            Why are the schools closed? Children are almost entirely unaffected. Flu kills far more, and we do not close the schools every flu season.

            The lockdowns in the UK have resulted in many thousands of excess deaths already that are not from Covid. The data for that is very clear. The excess deaths will mount over the coming months and years. One data point, there are 2 million overdue operations there now. It will take years to clear that, and will see many thousands die early.

            “How many NZers would you have like to have killed off?”

            This is the emotive bullshit game you want to play? He is the truth, there is no world in which everyone gets to live. To think otherwise is childish.

            [Deleted]

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  4th June 2020

              Acute operations have occurred as normal. Elective was suspended and those whos condition worsened were operated on. Those whos life is at risk arent elective.

              Less road deaths
              less suicides
              Less work place deaths
              less alcoholism deaths
              less deaths from elective surgery complications ( its never risk free)
              less flu deaths ( a big drop)

              because the Covid quarantine here worked, so its proof now that it wasnt needed ?

              NSW is thinking of limited gym openings in 2 weeks , that happened here 3 weeks back.
              next week we will be back to normal distancing requirements , ie none
              Planes, public transport , sports ganes, concerts, pubs and restaurants.
              Its only what NSW can dream of at the end of NEXT month.

            • Alan Foster

               /  5th June 2020

              I notice that you didn’t comment on the 1,000 times deaths.
              Sweden – 100 times our death rate – FACT – 10 times that of Norway.
              So you’d be happy to kill off 2,000 + Kiwis??
              “The lockdowns in the UK have resulted in many thousands of excess deaths already that are not from Covid. ” Prove please.

            • Pink David

               /  5th June 2020

              ““The lockdowns in the UK have resulted in many thousands of excess deaths already that are not from Covid. ” Prove please.”

              Sure.

              https://hectordrummond.com/2020/05/13/week-18-bar-graphs/

              “So you’d be happy to kill off 2,000 + Kiwis??”

              Infantile. I’ll make sure to remind you every time new data comes out about the real death toll these lockdowns have caused. Perhaps I can follow your lead and scream ‘blood on your hands you murderer!’ over each death. Will that help?

              Here is just one data point, among a vast number of the devastating health impacts of these lockdowns.

              The UK now has 2.4m cancer screenings backlogged. This will result in thousands of deaths, likely ten of thousand or more, as 3/4/6 month delays in identifying cancer dramatically increases mortality. That backlog will take years to clear

              http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Robot-News/cancer-care-backlog-uk

              These people will die quietly. The news won’t report on them. No scorecard in the TV every night showing the number of deaths. No ‘lockdown victim’ on the death certificate.

              They will just die when they did not need to.

              That is not your fault of course. You have just been lied too.

            • Alan Foster

               /  5th June 2020

              “Infantile. I’ll make sure to remind you every time new data comes out about the real death toll these lockdowns have caused. Perhaps I can follow your lead and scream ‘blood on your hands you murderer!’ over each death. Will that help?”
              Name calling doesn’t help your argument.
              The graph figures are all over the place – huge rise in week 14 followed by huge fall in week 18. – why is this?
              You still haven’t commentated on the 1,000 – why is that?

  3. I don’t know why Kerala’s leader who made Covid virtually a non-event there by using border testing isn’t being hailed as a heroine and Kerala as the example of how to do it. She and a team sat down together, worked out a strategy, did it and have had hardly any cases or deaths. No lockdown needed, just common sense.

    It seems that Asian countries are the ones who got it right while Western ones were faffing around trying this and that and buggering their economies as well as not containing the virus.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th June 2020

      Yeah, well maybe. But it’s interesting when you think about it, if it’s really only another severe flu that kills mainly the frail elderly with existing conditions, & those few others who are susceptible because immunosuppressed or already suffering from lung or breathing-related conditions, that it was China which actually started the panicdemic.

      Reply
      • Panicdemic is right.

        People forget that colds and flu are also coronaviruses.

        The PM’s instinct which was more important than evidence and science has a lot to answer for.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  4th June 2020

        All the data indicates it is less deadly than the flu overall. Sweden has had 3 other flu seasons worse than this in the last 30 years.

        Funny how the article manged to miss the actual change Sweden would have made equipped with the latest data. I would have thought that would be quite important to know.

        Reply
      • artcroft

         /  4th June 2020

        Yes. definitely something to consider. If China’s response had been different would the world have adopted a different course.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th June 2020

        We should have gone to level 2 with quarantined borders and contact tracing from the start. Would have saved untold billions.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th June 2020

          Magic wand .
          8000 per day arriving in NZ , most with a right to return. the first day alone would have filled most of Aucklands hotel rooms ..for 14 days . then their is the next day arrivals and next
          Contact tracing essentially didnt exist at the time …guess who abolished the Public Health Agency …Skeggs was the head at the time and named the national Ministers responsible

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th June 2020

            Tosh. Could have fixed all of that for a tiny fraction of the cost of the lockdown. And no-one has a right to get on a plane here carrying an infectious virus. Demanding a clear test result before boarding would have made the inflow manageable.

            Reply
            • Alan Foster

               /  4th June 2020

              Would have created a big industry for FAKE test results –

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              Retest on arrival and make airlines responsible for pre-flight test quality. As I said at the time.

            • Pink David

               /  4th June 2020

              Alan, agree completely. Having the idea of a ‘pass’ would instantly create a market in fake passes.

              Terrible idea.

            • Alan Foster

               /  4th June 2020

              Wilco – as Ducker says, we wouldn’t have been able to handle the numbers coming in – otherwise, your idea is a good one

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              Just make the airlines responsible for quarantine costs if they bring infected passengers here or infect them in transit. Let private enterprise find effective solutions.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              @Alan, as I said, imposing the above conditions would have throttled the inflow immediately. And setting up large quarantine camps would anyway have been vastly less costly than the lockdown.

            • Duker

               /  4th June 2020

              Make airlines responsible for pre flight testing ?
              This worked where ?
              Thats right , in Fantasia meets mickey mouse

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th June 2020

              Don’t be dumb, Duker. Airlines are already responsible for passengers having valid visas. This would be a simple extension. Could also make them liable for any infections passed onto their passengers.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th June 2020

    Refreshing to see an “expert” saying things could have been done better instead of claiming perfection. Wish ours would.

    Meanwhile a third of our retail businesses are on the brink of collapse.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12337073

    Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  4th June 2020

    This is for Ishmael;

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th June 2020

      I linked that this morning. WHO has resumed its trials.

      Reply
    • David

       /  4th June 2020

      I feel vindicated. I said the taking down of hydroxy was a political hit job because Trump touted it, seldom has the world witnessed something so partisan and pathetic as this. A drug that could help millions, is being widely used by health professionals as a prophylactic even Ardern green lit a taxpayer funded study had to be taken down because of Trump.
      Wonder if there is something that works on TDS.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2020

      Now officially retracted.

      Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th June 2020

    South African has more balls than Kiwis. Gets lockdown regulations declared irrational, unconstitutional and invalid because not directly related to virus safety:
    https://www.news24.com/news24/analysis/lockdown-regulations-verdict-man-who-took-on-govt-and-won-says-it-was-like-david-taking-on-goliath-20200603

    Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  5th June 2020

    Which one is Sweden?

    Reply
  8. Griff.

     /  5th June 2020

    ROFL
    Pink you have an amazingly poor understanding of math and time.
    Your graph misses most of the epidemic and has that wider range of dates as to be meaningless when it comes to the death toll of Covid .
    Lies damn lies and statistics.
    The data is hidden in the noise
    AKA pure propaganda to confuse simple minds.

    Reply
    • Pink’s just a bit septic because the Swedish experiment has been one of his major talking points in favour of ending lockdown early.

      Now the experimenters have admitted that maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea, his talking point has been exposed as trash-talk.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  5th June 2020

        “Pink’s just a bit septic because the Swedish experiment has been one of his major talking points in favour of ending lockdown early.”

        It’s not a talking point, it’s data. I’m not in favour of ending the lockdown early, the data shows the lockdowns had no effect whatsoever in controlling Covid and will come at a massive cost in people lives. There never should have been any lockdowns in the first place, and the sooner everyone gets back to normal, the few lives will be lost.

        The lockdowns are the biggest public policy mistake in history.

        “Now the experimenters have admitted that maybe it wasn’t such a smart idea, his talking point has been exposed as trash-talk.”

        That not what they have said at all. Note also many countries have done much the same as Sweden (Japan, Taiwan etc) and had very few ‘deaths’. Care to explain?

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  5th June 2020

        Just as a little bit on top, in the ‘admitted’ space, here is Prof Lockdown ‘confessing that Sweden achieved everything the lockdowns did without destroying Sweden’s economy.

        “The scientist behind lockdown in the UK has admitted that Sweden has achieved roughly the same suppression of coronavirus without draconian restrictions.”

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/02/prof-lockdown-neil-ferguson-admits-sweden-used-science-uk-has/

        Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2020

      “The data is hidden in the noise”

      Exactly right. It is hidden in the noise.

      This virus required the lockdown of billions of people, destruction of hundreds of millions of lives, the worst depression for 300 years and untold deaths from the reaction that we will be able to see.

      And you cannot see it through the noise. You cannot see it in the noise.

      I’ll keep repeating it….

      You cannot see it in the noise.

      Reply
      • Alan Foster

         /  5th June 2020

        “This virus required the lockdown of billions of people, destruction of hundreds of millions of lives, the worst depression for 300 years and untold deaths from the reaction that we will be able to see.”
        So now we have 100s of 1,000,000 lives destroyed – where did you get this figure from?
        What do you mean by destroyed?
        Read Griff’s comment below as well

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  5th June 2020

          “What do you mean by destroyed?”

          Businesses gone. Employment gone. Health care that they could have got that they will not get.

          40 million unemployed in the US
          120 million unemployed in India.
          600,000 unemployed in Australia just in April.
          Trillions of dollars in debt
          NZ is spending more on the wage subsidy for the lockdown than it does on the entire health care system. $500m every single day. That money build a complete, brand new, top spec hospital with 300 beds.
          The largest fall in GDP in modern history.
          This was all inflicted because of the lockdowns. It had nothing to do with Covid.

          I’m going to take a wild leap in the dark and guess you are not dependent on income from Tourism, or any other business that is getting smashed.

          Griffs comments are profoundly wrong. Completely missing the fundamentals.

          Reply
          • Alan Foster

             /  5th June 2020

            Do you not think that the businesses will return? Agree that Tourism has gone for some time but the Tasman bubble will help when implemented.
            I trust that you won’t have a heart attack.
            Try to be more positive – remember the world bounced back after WW2.
            Read Griff’s comment again – the graph should only be from March to the end of May

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  5th June 2020

              “Do you not think that the businesses will return? ”

              You have never run a business have you? Most of them are already gone. The bankruptcies will be a steady drip for the next year.

              How about you go and meet some of these people who have lost their businesses and tell them how worthwhile it all was?

              “I trust that you won’t have a heart attack.”
              “Try to be more positive – remember the world bounced back after WW2.”

              I’m fine. I’m wealthy and, have a business that is a field that is only having limited impact, even though we laid off a few dozen.
              It you, and your children who is will suffer and be paying for this for decades, and you did it to yourself for nothing other than fear.

        • Pink David

           /  5th June 2020

          Latest on the UK showing the many thousands of non-covid deaths that have occurred during the lockdown.

          https://hectordrummond.com/2020/06/05/early-june-graphs-from-christopher-bowyer/

          Reply
          • Alan Foster

             /  5th June 2020

            These graphs just show what we’ve known all along – Covid kills off mainly older people with existing conditions which is me. The lock down most likely has prevented me from dying.

            Reply
  9. Griff.

     /  5th June 2020

    Do i have to explain primers stuff to you pink ?
    Forty weeks in each data point and the epidemic has had an impact on deaths for only four weeks in your data. Even If Sweden’s death toll from Covid was twice their normal background death rate it would still only be seen as a ten percent raise in the last data point.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/
    To much noise to see anything when only 1/10 of your last data point has any information content on the subject .

    All your graph proves is how easily mislead you are…
    That you can not see it is a given.
    That you are arguing the point on a public forum just makes me laugh at your”intellect”.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2020

      Show me in a graph the true horror of Sweden you clever thing. Explain to me these primers. I’m sure you can manage it.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2020

      While you are at it, show me how much better it would have been with a total lockdown.

      Prove that.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2020

      Last one, Levitt’s thread on these graphs is very good, perhaps you can find something to suit you there’

      Reply
      • Griff.

         /  5th June 2020

        Logical fallacy

        Moving the goalposts is an informal fallacy in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded. That is, after an attempt has been made to score a goal, the goalposts are moved to exclude the attempt

        In the real world people respond to stimuli.
        Apes die from virus so apes limit potential to get infected.

        “Never” in your link is again math challenged bullshite for simpletons .
        Exponential growth is easily proven to have happened before humanity reacted to the threat .
        If you go to world meter and look at the logarithmic graphs of new infections you will see many straight line periods before action were taken. A straight line in a logarithmic graph is a period of exponential growth.
        Your goal post shift is even more rubbish targeted at reality challenged idiots…..

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  5th June 2020

          It must hurt having someone like Michael Levitt. prove you wrong. He is some much less intelligent that you.

          Reply

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