SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has put healthcare systems and societies to the test unexpectedly.
Our goal is to explain and examine Sweden’s response to the pandemic.
We present and discuss data from various sources, including published scientific studies, pre-print material, agency reports, media communication, public surveys, and more, with a particular focus on the approach itself, Covid-19 trends, healthcare system response, policy and measure overview, and implications.
The major intervention to manage the curve has been general advice to practice excellent hand hygiene, keep a safe physical distance from others, avoid large gatherings, and avoid unnecessary travel. People diagnosed with Covid-19 infection are advised to stay at home and avoid social contact. Visits to nursing homes for the elderly and gatherings with groups of more than 50 persons were also prohibited. As a result, the country’s healthcare system has never been overburdened. The relatively high mortality rate among the elderly and the fragility of some migrants highlight the disadvantages.
Many countries have praised and criticized Sweden’s policy, which is based on a close relationship between the government and society based on mutual trust and individual accountability. It already demonstrates how much can be accomplished by voluntary measures (recommendations), something that the World Health Organization has observed and advocated as a future paradigm.