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3 Jun, 2021 13:06

Government failed on Covid-19 pandemic, says Swedish parliamentary committee

Government failed on Covid-19 pandemic, says Swedish parliamentary committee

Sweden’s constitutional committee has said the government failed in many aspects of its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, including being slow to implement a testing and tracing system and not sufficiently protecting the elderly.

Speaking at a hearing on Thursday, Hans Ekstrom, deputy chairman of the committee and a Social Democrat lawmaker, told colleagues that the response of Sweden’s minority government was “not sufficient.” 

“It is ... clear that Sweden was not sufficiently prepared before [the pandemic] and we can learn from many of the underlying failures that have been identified,” he stated.

Ekstrom, accompanied by committee chairperson Karin Enstrom, of the opposition Moderate Party, said the government had been too slow to implement test-and-trace, failed to safeguard the elderly and did not distinguish responsibility between national and local authorities. The committee did not mention Sweden’s controversial no-lockdown strategy. 

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“The elderly were particularly vulnerable ... and ... the government should have acted more forcefully,” Karin Enstrom added. Sweden’s minority Social Democrat-led government has already taken responsibility for its failure to protect elderly care-home residents.

While Sweden opted against lockdowns, the country experienced lower death rates than other EU nations that took a stricter approach. However, the statistics show many more died in Sweden than in its Nordic neighbors.

As of May 26, more than one million Swedes have tested positive for the virus while around 14,500 have died with Covid-19. The nation’s mortality rate is around 1,400 deaths per million inhabitants. By comparison neighboring Finland recorded just 173 deaths per million inhabitants.

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