Sweden ‘wrong’ not to shut down, says former state epidemiologist
Scientist who oversaw the response to Sars says country has failed the vulnerable
The predecessor of Sweden’s state epidemiologist has broken her silence on the country’s controversial coronavirus strategy, saying she now believes the authorities should have put in place tougher restrictions in the early stages of the pandemic to bring the virus under control.
Annika Linde, who oversaw Sweden’s response to swine flu and Sars as state epidemiologist from 2005 to 2013, had until now expressed support for her country’s approach under her successor, Anders Tegnell.
But she has now become the first member of the public health establishment to break ranks, saying she has changed her mind as a result of Sweden’s relatively high death toll compared with that of its neighbours, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
“I think that we needed more time for preparedness. If we had shut down very early … we would have been able, during that time, to make sure that we had what was necessary to protect the vulnerable,” Linde told the Observer.