The Swedish Model

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The Swedish Model

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HAS THEIR COVID-19 LITE LOCKDOWN ONLY INCREASED THE DEATH TOLL?

In Sweden they are doing a ‘lockdown lite’. This documentary is a fascinating profile of a country that has taken a relaxed path to control the epidemic in comparison to their close neighbours with strict lockdown laws. Many other countries have considered a similar approach but has Sweden’s herd-immunity concept back-fired?

The architect and public face of Sweden’s unique approach is the country’s chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Under his aegis, bars and restaurants never closed, primary schools and child-care centres stayed open. While there were some restrictions - high schools and universities closed and aged-care facilities were locked down – the rules of social distancing and working from home were voluntary, recommended by a Government which trusted its citizens to do the right thing.

Tegnell’s regular briefings, constant media appearances and ‘I’ll do it my way’ approach made him a national hero. But did Anders Tegnell get it right? Compared to its Nordic neighbours, who enforced mandatory lockdowns, Sweden’s death rates are high. Its fatality rate is five times that of Finland, Norway and Denmark. The man at the centre of the storm insists that his plan is working but the numbers are not stacking up. Visiting an aged-care home, a sector which has borne the brunt of the virus, staff are struggling to cope with the demands of caring during Covid-19. After the elderly, it is Sweden’s migrant communities who are suffering the highest death rates.

A Foreign Correspondent story

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Foreign Correspondent
Australian Broadcasting Corporation