King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustav said in a special interview to sum up the year on Swedish television that the country had “failed” in its fight against the corona plague. Asked how he sees the past year, the 74-year-old said: “I think we have failed. We have a high number of dead, which is terrible. It is something we will all have to deal with.” The remarks were made against the background of the fact that in Sweden about 7,800 deaths have so far been recorded from Corona, compared to about 1,800 deaths in neighboring Finland, Norway and Denmark combined.
Sweden has adopted a unique policy to combat the corona plague, which has included avoiding severe closure measures and relying on public recommendations and minimal legislation. Although in the last month the government has partially changed direction, amid a particularly severe outbreak of the second wave in the country, and suspended physical education in high schools, health authorities still oppose for example the widespread use of masks.
In the first wave of the Corona plague in the spring, the state contented itself with a ban on visiting nursing homes and restricting gatherings to 50 people, and its residents could sit in cafes and send children to kindergartens and elementary schools long after residents of France, Britain, Italy and Spain, among others, were ordered to stay. With their families and not go out. At the same time, a significant excess mortality was recorded in the country in the first wave: about 5,500 people died from Corona by February to early May.
Chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnel and health authorities, who led the controversial policy, said the problem was in non-compliance with guidelines in nursing homes and nursing homes, which led to high mortality among residents of those institutions. A parliamentary inquiry committee submitted an initial report on the matter this week, and indeed determined that Sweden had “failed to protect” the elderly.
The Swedish king said there was no doubt that the people had suffered in the past year, and that the fact that many in Sweden could not personally say goodbye to family members who died from Corona was “traumatic”. “My thoughts are with all the families who did not get to say goodbye to their loved ones,” the king said in an interview summarizing the year, of which only an excerpt was published on the SVT website, “It is a traumatic and difficult experience.” The full interview will be published on December 21st.