Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell believes that the spread of infection at the beginning of the corona pandemic in Stockholm cannot be compared with other Nordic countries.
“The pandemic took off in Sweden in a different way than in our neighboring countries.
“We had a huge spread in Stockholm at the beginning, which was much more similar to the spread you saw in London, Amsterdam, and Brussels, which in many ways are more similar to Sweden than our neighboring countries.
“Stockholm and these other cities have large populations from other countries, which is important because the spread is greater and faster among these populations,” Tegnell said in an interview with the British magazine New Statesman.
According to the Swedish statistical agency Statistics Sweden and Norwegian Statistics Norway, the proportion of the population with a foreign background according to the Swedish definition, i.e., born abroad or born domestically with two immigrant parents, is about a third in both Stockholm and Oslo.
Mistakes were made
Tegnell also said that Sweden, in practice, had a lockdown on a par with neighboring countries – not because of government measures, but because the population changed their habits.
“We stopped traveling to an even greater extent than our neighboring countries. The airports had no departures, and the trains ran with meager filling rates,” the epidemiologist noted.
At the same time, Tegnell admitted to mistakes, among other things, and that the Swedish elderly care was poorly prepared for the pandemic.
“For once, we must be humble. It’s still early. We feel we have control, but that can constantly change. This disease continues to surprise us,” he said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today