Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Sweden's Elderly Paid the Price of Pandemic Policy

 Sweden has so far recorded about 341,000 infections and more than 7,600 deaths from the pandemic with one of the highest per capita death rates in the world.

 Nearly 90% of fatalities were of elderly at least 70 years old and half of them were in long-term residential care.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven admitted the country's officials did not adequately care for the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mats Melin, the chair of an  independent commission made up of political scientists, crisis management experts and public health experts, explained, "The government should have taken measures to ensure the elderly care was better equipped to deal with the pandemic."

The commission concluded that the "ultimate responsibility for these shortcomings rests with the government in power – and with the previous governments."

The commission said there were "structural shortcomings that have been well-known for a long time" which "led to residential care being unprepared and ill-equipped to handle a pandemic." Such shortcomings included a lack of protective equipment and delays in testing. The report warned of they described as "fragmentation" in the Swedish healthcare systems. Elderly care is divided between 21 regions and 290 municipalities. 

Coronavirus: Sweden admits lapses in elderly care | Coronavirus and Covid-19 - latest news about COVID-19 | DW | 16.12.2020


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