Anders Tegnell: Sweden 'could have done better' handling coronavirus

Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says country 'could have done better,' would aim for a better middle ground if given the chance.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Anders Tegnell
Anders Tegnell
TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery via REUTERS

Sweden's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, admitted that his strategy for managing the coronavirus outbreak has failed, needlessly costing his country in lives.

In an interview with Swedish radio, Tegnell said, "If we were to run into the same disease, knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would end up doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done."

"I think we could have done better in what we did in Sweden," he admitted, noting that it would be "good to know exactly what to shut down to curb the spread of infection better."

In the future, he said, the country will need to consider whether there was a way to keep the number of deaths low.

However, he stopped short of saying that Sweden should have implemented a lockdown: "Other countries started with a lot of measures all at once. The problem with that is that you don’t really know which of the measures you have taken is most effective."

"Maybe we will find this out now that people have started removing measures, one at a time," he said. "And then maybe we will get some kind of information on what, in addition to what we did, we could do without imposing a total lockdown."

And in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter daily, Tegnell said that "the basic strategy has worked well. I do not see what we would have done completely differently."

"Based on the knowledge we had then, we feel we made the appropriate decisions," he explained.

After months of no lockdown, Sweden's coronavirus death toll has reached 43 people for every 100,000 people, dramatically higher than the death rates of its Scandinavian neighbors, and higher than that of any other country.

Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has promised to launch an investigation into how the outbreak was handled.