Kavaliunas A, Ocaya P, Mumper J, Lindfeldt I, Kyhlstedt M
Health Policy Technol 9 (4) 598-612 [2020-12-00; online 2020-08-29]
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has challenged health care systems and put societies to the test in the world beyond expectations. Our aim is to describe and analyze the Swedish approach in combating the pandemic. We present and discuss data collated from various sources - published scientific studies, pre-print material, agency reports, media communication, public surveys, etc. - with specific focus on the approach itself, Covid-19 trends, healthcare system response, policy and measures overview, and implications. The main intervention to manage the curve has been the general recommendations to adhere to good hand hygiene, beware of physical distance to others, to refrain from large gatherings and restrain from non-essential travel. Persons with suspected Covid-19 infection were recommended to stay at home and avoid social contacts. Additionally, visits to the elderly care homes and meetings with more than 50 people were forbidden. As a result, the healthcare system in the country has so far, never been overwhelmed. However, the relatively high mortality among the elderly, together with the vulnerability of some migrants, points out the drawbacks. Many countries have both marvelled and criticized the Swedish strategy that is formed in a close partnership between the government and the society based on a mutual trust giving the responsibility to individuals. It already highlights how much can be achieved with voluntary measures (recommendations) - something that was noticed and proposed as a future model by the World Health Organization.