Was the Swedish approach misguided?

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis Sweden has attracted attention for of its liberal approach to the pandemic. But recently critical voices have gained traction due to the country's comparatively high death toll. Leading Swedish virologist Anders Tegnell said on Wednesday that his country's strategy needed to be partially revised. Were the Swedes too uncritical of their authorities?

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Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Government should admit its mistakes

If Tegnell can admit mistakes so can the government, Dagens Nyheter demands:

“It's not too late to take a different approach. Social distancing, on which Sweden has based its entire strategy, isn't the only strategy that can be used to slow the spread of the virus or speed up recovery. Together with modern technology - mass testing, digital infection detection and isolation - the infection rate can be minimised. ... It's time to realise that it is the government which must take responsibility here. [Prime Minister] Löfven and [Health Minister] Hallengren are the ones who owe us answers.”

Berliner Zeitung (DE) /

More distrust needed in the future

The Swedes' trust in their democracy has become a problem, writes the Berliner Zeitung:

“Outside times of crisis this trust makes it easier for the state to care for the population. But during a pandemic it enables a system of organised irresponsibility. The red-green minority government delegates its decisions to experts from the health authorities. ... The health authority bases its decisions on selected scientific findings - and downplays those that contradict the hypotheses of its small management team. The result is that one of the world's richest welfare states has protected the weak in its society less well than some developing countries have against the pandemic. And that the population accepts this because they believe that this is all in order. For the next crisis, one would wish the Swedes more mistrust.”