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Anders Tegnell accused the WHO of misinterpreting COVID-19 data and claimed the recent “surge” in recorded cases in Sweden was due to testing being ramped up. Mr Tegnall has become something of a poster boy for Sweden’s anti-lockdown strategy. He advised the government to shun the lockdown trend which swept across Europe in March and instead opt for a “herd immunity” strategy.
Three months on, Sweden’s coronavirus death rate is far higher than neighbouring countries.
Compared to Sweden’s 65,137 fatalities, Norway has recorded 8,846, Finland 7,198 and Denmark has 12,675.
The WHO has put Sweden on a list of 11 countries which are in the throes of a “dangerous resurgence” of COVID-19.
But Mr Tegnell, the state epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, refuted the WHO’s assertion.
Mr Tegnell said a recent rise in testing in Sweden meant that mild cases of the virus which would have previously gone unrecorded have now been added to the tally.
Mr Tegnell said: “It’s a total misunderstanding, I would say.
“They have looked at the number of cases per day and it has increased steeply over the past week.
“This is entirely due to extended testing and that we find more mild cases.
“We see no evidence at all that our epidemic in Sweden is getting worse – on the contrary.
“It is unfortunate that people are confusing Sweden with countries that have not previously had problems, which are obviously in the beginning.
“Sweden is nearing the end.”
Mr Tegnell said Sweden had recently seen a drop in the number of patients being admitted to ICU units.
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He said this data, together with the falling death rate and declining hospital admissions, meant the country was not in the depths of a “resurgence” as the WHO claims it is.
On the list, Sweden is joined by Armenia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine
A poll conducted last week showed only four in 10 (38 percent) Swedes approved of their Government’s approach to the pandemic.
This was down from 50 percent in a similar survey conducted in May.
Mr Tegnell said world leaders panicked and caved to political pressure and put their countries into lockdown.
The epidemiologist said the consequences of shutting down the economy will far outweigh the benefits.
Sweden’s response to the pandemic has been very different to other European nations.
There has been no lockdown, with schools and cafes remaining open as the fatalities totted up.
However, large gatherings have been banned and the majority of the population practices social distancing.
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