‘Unprepared, ill-equipped to care for pandemic’: Panel finds Sweden’s failure to offer protection to elderly all the way through Covid-19 – world news



An official commission in Sweden has said the high degree of community spread and ill-preparedness of elderly care homes are likely to be the major cause of the large number of deaths a number of the elderly community all the way through the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters.

Sweden followed a ‘no-lockdown’ stance and insisted on following stricter social distancing and sanitation practices when many other countries were imposing strict lockdowns. The country also determined to ‘ring-fence’ or isolate totally from exposure the elderly from Covid-19, alternatively, the death toll increased amidst the elderly, particularly in the nursing homes. While it did find some initial success in controlling the virus, mounting deaths prompted an investigation into the situation.

The commission called out the preceding and current governments for state of being inactive over already known structural problems in the care system for the elderly and blamed them for being in the long run responsible. It also mentioned that the overall spread of the disease could be another leading cause for the death toll. “These shortcomings meant that elderly care used to be unprepared and ill-equipped to care for a pandemic. The employees in elderly care were in large part left alone to care for the crisis situation,” the commission said in a remark.

Nursing home residents account for a little less than half of the nearly 7,700 Covid-19 related deaths in Sweden. “We also assess that the measures were inadequate in several respects,” the commission famous when referring to the intervention by government and agencies in protecting the elderly and said that the measures had arrived too late.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven admitted the failure in protecting the older people but said that the regional authorities, and not the central government, are responsible for health and elderly care.

The commission’s findings come after the Health and Social Care Inspectorate had warned of serious shortcomings in Sweden’s elderly care, noting that only six per cent of nursing home patients were examined by a doctor.

Deaths per capita in Sweden is found to be more than its Nordic neighbours despite remaining lesser than some European countries that imposed lockdowns. Sweden has reported 320,098 overall Covid-19 cases and 7,667 complete fatalities so far.


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