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Sweden is now an example. New WHO quarantine advice

Sweden's soft-restrictions strategy should set a model for other countries, the organization says.

The World Health Organization has set Sweden's strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as an example for other countries in the long term.

With the onset of the pandemic, the Swedish authorities decided not to impose strict quarantine measures, which drew criticism around the world, including from the WHO itself. Then they said that the Swedes “sacrificed the elderly” for the sake of the economy.

Mortality in Sweden in the first half of the year broke a 150-year record, but the economy still showed the strongest contraction in the last 40 years.

What to learn from Sweden

Sweden's strategy of introducing soft restrictions as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic should set a model for other countries in the long term, WHO Special Envoy Dr. David Nabarro said in an interview with New Zealand's radio station Magic.

The key to defeating COVID-19 is trust between the authorities and the public, he said. In Sweden, says Nabarro, “the government was able to trust the public, and the public was able to trust the government.”

The strict quarantine serves as a “rough tool” that seriously affects the incomes of citizens and small businesses, the organization's special envoy emphasized.

At the same time, Nabarro believes that societies as a whole should leave quarantine only when the situation has already been taken under control and there is a system that allows you to limit new outbreaks of infection.

“Even so, it may sometimes be necessary to restrict the freedom of movement of citizens for short periods,” he says.

Initially, the WHO believed that Sweden was making a huge mistake by not introducing quarantine. Anders Tegnell, the country's chief epidemiologist, also recognized it in early June. This approach led to too many deaths, he said, and said the country should have imposed stricter restrictions.

Tegnell noted that it would be more correct to average the approach “between what Sweden did and what other countries did.”

Self-isolation in Sweden was advisory, not mandatory. As restrictive measures, only a ban on mass events, a ban on visiting nursing homes, and transferring students to distance learning were adopted.

At the same time, the Swedes were not required and were not required to wear masks in public places, and if they traveled to places where an outbreak of a pandemic was recorded, they were not forced to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.

Initially, the Swedes wanted the population to develop herd immunity. For this, according to scientists, it is necessary that about 60 percent of the population have been ill. It was said that in Sweden two-thirds of the population would become infected without quarantine, but in Stockholm, for example, only 20 percent fell ill.

According to the WHO, by September 1, 84.3 thousand people had been diagnosed with coronavirus in Sweden, more than 5.8 thousand died.

In terms of mortality, the country has overtaken both its closest neighbors and countries with a large number of infected. According to the Worldometer portal, Sweden is among the top ten countries in the world with the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 per one million population.

The Swedish model was also chosen by Britain, but changed her mind after two weeks and introduced a very strict quarantine. Despite this, the UK has one of the highest morbidity and mortality rates.

According to preliminary data from the Swedish statistical office SCB, in the second quarter of 2020, Sweden's GDP decreased by 8.6 percent compared to the previous quarter. On the other hand, compared to the second quarter of 2019, the Swedish economy contracted 8.2 percent.

This is the most serious recession in the last 40 years, but the Swedish economy has lost half during the pandemic compared to the rest of Europe, where residents were subject to strict quarantine, writes Trading Economics.

So, according to the statistics department of European states, on average in the EU countries, the GDP sank by 15 percent. In the United States, the situation is even worse — there GDP fell by 33 percent.

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