The Swedish government, based on the research results of experts decided that the best solution for the economy and the health of the country, and eventually for citizens, will be the development of partial immunity
AhmedZaggoudi / DepositPhotos
“The Swedish way”, “the Swedish model”, “Swedish strategy”… after some time, perhaps, these phrases will be clear to absolutely everyone and cause a completely different emotions – sorrow, anger, envy. Meanwhile, Sweden has chosen its particular method of dealing with the spread of the new coronavirus infection, is on the 20th place in the world in the number of infected and in 12th place among European countries (on April 16 – 11927 people). And the number of victims of the infection is in 14th place among all countries of the world (1203 people).
The Swedish government, based on the research results of experts decided that the best solution for the economy and the health of the country, and eventually for citizens, will be the development of partial immunity.
This strategy is also called population immunity, the immunity of the crowd, the herd immunity effect of the resistance of infection in the community, part of which have to do with the virus personal immunity.
That is, the citizens have to observe social distancing, to abandon large meetings and unnecessary travel, to comply with the regulations of the Department of public health regarding hand hygiene, to Express the sense of responsibility for themselves and others, but rigid restrictive measures are not introduced. Recommended to isolate only risk groups (elderly, people with chronic diseases and those with symptoms of infection). Large businesses are closed, but many continue to work. In Sweden, opened schools, shops, cafes and restaurants, sitting in parks, walking parents with children and couples in love.
The government and society accepted the fact that by the end of April in the Kingdom can be infected with infection more than half of the population, and by the end of may carriers of the virus can be two thirds of the population.
Prime Minister Stefan lofven in his televised speech warned citizens that “many sick people and many will have to say goodbye to their loved ones.” Chief epidemiologist of the country Anders Tegnell announced that the majority of Swedes should recover coronavirus to generate herd immunity. And judging by the opinion polls, about 80% of the population agree to experiment with the production of “herd immunity”.
The Swedes agreed with the government that if strict quarantine measures, the epidemic would be smaller, but the damage to the economy then it will be catastrophic and end up dead a lot more people. And here’s why….
From the “European model” (i.e. rigid quarantine) expect that this will help slow down the spread of the virus in society, and therefore in the short term will reduce the pressure on the health system – not need a lot of new places in intensive care units and therefore will reduce the number of deaths. But it is already clear that the results of this policy are quite modest, if you look at the number of deaths per million citizens in the European countries, where the epidemic began around the same time.
Easter in Spain for every million people there were 363 deaths from coronavirus (0,036%), Italy – 322 death per million inhabitants (0,032%), Belgium – 311 deaths per million (0,031%), France – 212 (0,021%), the Netherlands – 154 (0,015%) in the UK – 145 (0,014%), in Sweden – 88 (0,008%), in Denmark – 46 (0,005%) deaths per million inhabitants.
As writes the largest Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the slower the virus spreads, the more time it will take the formation of collective immunity. There is a risk of new waves of the epidemic. If this happens after the lifting of restrictions (it is unknown how long it is possible to isolate the entire population of the country, forbidding him to leave the house), it may be a huge new flash. And again there will be many deaths, there is an acute need for beds in intensive care.
Under the Swedish model, it will spread faster. And at first, mortality will be higher, increasing the workload on the health system and intensive care unit, but then will recover and the death rate will gradually decline. Still happens in Sweden is now high mortality. But, say local experts, compared with the same period of 2019 dead not much more. This suggests that many older people die sooner during the disease and not directly due to the coronavirus.
And strict quarantine measures will lead to a massive decline in the economy, massive unemployment, deterioration of health, increased mental illness, and again death, but not only from coronavirus infection, but also from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other diseases. Moreover, alarmed by the population stops consuming. The result is a full stop of the society and prohibition to leave the house (just for this model is now Moscow) economic consequences would be very serious, warn Swedish economists.
Society Sweden stoically accepted the fact that the proportion of the elderly population die a little sooner than expected – for example, not in 90 years, and in 87. But it is believed that these deaths will not be in vain, as the death of many healthy people aged 40-60 years is more tragic.
As chief doctor and Professor, Department of biomedical and clinical research in Germany University Johnny Ludvigsson, he, along with statisticians had calculated on the basis of available data on the following items:
– morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in different groups of citizens;
-the spread of the virus;
– forecasts on forming of collective immunity;
– the expected impact of the economic crisis on the lives and health of citizens on the basis of statistics of past crises.
These calculations showed that the stop of the society for Russian or European model with the high probability will lead to the fact that the mortality rate in the coming years will grow and people will lose more life-years than if you adopt a more open model – Swedish.
How to say Swedish scientists, it is necessary to create herd immunity, achieving his first with the young people. Otherwise, the epidemic will rage all the time until it will be possible to vaccinate a large part of society, and mass vaccination can begin in the best case a year from now. In isolation is only those older than 65-70 years, and those who have chronic diseases, so as not to overload the healthcare system.
“The earlier people that are not in the risk groups will be back to normal and will begin to consume, saving enterprises from bankruptcy, and society – from mass unemployment, the better. The government should demonstrate the power more actively and powerfully than ever before, counteracting the economic crisis. A strategy for the coronavirus has been let by the Department of public health,” writes physician, Professor Johnny Ludvigsson.
Not everyone agrees with this point of view, even in Sweden: a population playing “Russian roulette”
A similar path was originally planned to go UK, decided to allow the virus to spread among the population in a controlled way and to develop more natural immunity.
But when British scientists, analyzing the data, informed the Cabinet of Boris Johnson, as a result of this openness in the country may die to 500 thousand people, and in the health care system will come the collapse, the government immediately changed tactics. However, time was lost – the UK may soon be the first place in the number of deaths in Europe.
On the eve of 22 Swedish scientists sent an open letter to the Swedish government, which criticized his actions during a pandemic and called as soon as possible to take drastic measures. According to them, the position of the Department of public health has led to the fact that the mortality rate in Sweden was higher than that observed in Finland, 10 times.
In fact, the numbers are even worse: on the 16th of April in Sweden from coronavirus infection died in 1203, and in Finland – only 72 people. There, in contrast to Sweden, closed all cafes and restaurants, not school work, no meetings involving more than 10 people. In Norway, where restrictions are not so severe as in Finland, but still much stricter than in Sweden, died 150.
“If Sweden was a strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, then we would not die as many people as in Italy, and 10 times more than in Finland, write to the government Swedish scientists. – If Sweden had a strategy, half of Stockholm nursing homes would not suffer from the epidemic, and 20% of their staff are not contracted the virus”.
Now the Swedish Newspapers start to publish information that the official figures infected is very far from reality. As stated in an interview with Mitt Chapter infectious Department of the hospital, Smittskydd Stockholm Per Follin, 12 thousand infected are only the tip of the iceberg.
“We have a very large number of people with symptoms of the disease, which not only undergo no testing, but yet do not seek medical help. Since March 12, when the test in Stockholm at those who got the survey or in the hospital. Therefore, official figures only show confirmed cases of the disease, but not the number of cases. That is, they do not reflect the actual number of people infected, which in reality is much higher,” – said the head of the infectious Department.
Former state epidemiologist of Sweden’s 72-year-old Annika Linde also considers that the Swedish authorities are not serious about the coronavirus. According to her, the risk of collapse in Stockholm becomes increasingly likely, time to introduce tough quarantine has passed, to close economically important Metropolitan area of Stockholm too late.
“This is a risky experiment with the entire population, which threatens catastrophic consequences – said in a broadcast by the Swedish TV channel SVT Professor of epidemiology at the University of umeå Joakim Raklev. The situation in other countries shows that it is a serious disease, and Sweden is no different from all the rest.” Raklev on his research trying to prove to the government of Sweden that the attempt to develop “herd immunity” without combating the spread of the virus will lead to a shortage of intensive care and a large number of deaths, according to Forbes.
A mathematician from the University of Lund Marcus Karlsson in turn, argues that there is no evidence that the approach of combating the virus, aimed at the development of “herd immunity”, would give their fruit anywhere in the world. According to him, the government of Sweden “playing with a population of Russian roulette”.
But while the Swedish government is not inclined to dramatize the situation and to listen to critics of the strategy for the development of “herd immunity”. However, in the case of an increase of deaths from the coronavirus in the number of improvised morgues have already increased.
As writes the Swedish newspaper Expressen in Stockholm under a temporary morgue in a converted skating rink “Maelarhoejden”, which was played by the Junior team of the Swedish hockey team Djurgårdens.
“Now we have free places for 335 deaths, but we have already contacted the administration of cemeteries and the authorities of Stockholm, to be able to use the ice arena as a morgue. This will give an additional 500-700 places,” – said the head of the County Council of Stockholm Joakim Jarnryd.