World Med Health Policy - (-) - [2021-06-03; online 2021-06-03]
In contrast to the vast majority of Western countries, Sweden left large segments of the society open instead of imposing a lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, the Swedish COVID-19 measures, largely devised by its expert agency on health, garnered widespread international attention. Despite the global interest in the corona strategy of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (PHAS), there are currently no systematic studies on their COVID-19 policy. The present investigation focuses on the controversies that have characterized PHAS' work with reference to risk assessments, facemasks, voluntarism, testing, and the protection of the elderly during the pandemic. Overall, this inquiry demonstrates that PHAS' risk assessments were initially overly optimistic and their facemask recommendations in conflict with large segments of the scientific community for an extensive period. Yet, their voluntary measures worked moderately well. In their testing, PHAS did not manage to deliver on their promises in time, whereas several measures implemented to protect the elderly were deemed inadequate and late.