Swedish coronavirus policy least successful of the Nordic countries

Much as I admire Anders Tegnell (Sweden’s Chief epidemiologist) he appeared, at today’s press conference, to be brushing aside the differences between the Nordic countries a little too lightly. I am sure the health services have done a fantastic job. But, for whatever the reason, Sweden’s policy has so far resulted in many more fatalities (actual and per capita) than in the surrounding Nordic countries. The fatality rate is almost twice that of the next nearest Nordic country (Denmark). There is most likely a lapse of policy, rather than lack of equipment or failure of care, which lies behind this reality.

The reason is probably not unconnected with the overwhelming representation of the over-70’s (88% of all deaths in Sweden) among the fatalities.  (They are not particularly over-represented in the number of cases registered). It seems as if many of these older people were a “captive and doomed” population, stuck helplessly within their care homes – not protected in time from infection by the developing policy.


Note for reference:

In the Nordic countries the crude mortality rate (all causes) is between 7,000  and 8,000 per million of population every year. Sweden would normally see about 70,000 -80,000 deaths every year (all causes) compared to the 687 attributed so far to covid-19.

In Italy with a population of 60 million, there would be about 450,000 deaths due to all causes every year. The deaths attributed to covid-19 are currently about 17,500.


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2 Responses to “Swedish coronavirus policy least successful of the Nordic countries”

  1. Jack Broughton Says:

    I’m trying to understand the mass of information too. The UK/Wales is averaging 27.9 deaths / day / million at present from ONS data to 27th March. The 5 year average is 28.6. Surely Finland and Denmark have similar rates even without any Covid effect?
    It is very difficult to see how many deaths are due to Covid at present. ICU numbers are more worrying tho’ as the damage is likely to happen there.

    • ktwop Says:

      Over the whole year I am not sure that total fatalities would show any discernible increase due to covid-19 in more than a few countries.

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