Sweden coronavirus press conference, March 30, 2020

On this day, they had 4028 confirmed cases. There were 715,000 cases globally.

These pictures come from SVT, I think that stands for Svensk TV (Swedish TV).

Disclaimer: My Swedish is not 100%.

Here was the lady who was the main anchor, and beside her is one of the sign-language workers.

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The name of the anchor is Hiba Daniel.

And here was their correspondent over at where the press conference was being held. It was a press conference of the public health officials.

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Diamant Salihu, SVT correspondent

And then they got started with the press conference, here you see the speakers:

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Press conference of the public health officials, Sweden

The man in the middle is Anders Tegnell. He is the national epidemiologist. In his opening remarks, he makes sure to say, by the way, the USA has a growing crisis.

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Anders Tegnell, national epidemiologist

Anders Tegnell has a PowerPoint that he shows. Below is a slide of the new cases of coronavirus every day. The reason you see continual humps is because cases aren’t counted during the weekend. That results in the little dip about every 7 days. The weekend cases are then added in later (I guess). The blue line is people coming into the intensive care.

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Coronavirus cases by day, March 30, 2020

The blue intensive care line is low, that is true, but Anders Tegnell says that doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy in the intensive care units. Instead, because patients stay in intensive care for a long time, it gets successively more crowded in there.

And here is the graph of deaths per day:

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Coronavirus deaths per day, Sweden, March 30, 2020

But then Tegnell closes by saying, looks like we in Sweden still have a flatter coronavirus curve.

The main advice is repeated: stay home if you’re sick. And the risks for old people and people working in the medical field must be minimized.

Then Taha Alexandersson speaks. She is in charge of dishing out medical equipment across the country. She says there’s no shortages, but also no surplus.

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Taha Alexandersson, Crisis preparation chief in Sweden

Then a man called Svante Werger speaks. He says: we are more vulnerable at this time, so please be critical of the news you are reading, and of where it comes from. If you see information that makes you become very upset or excited, stop and think: is this reliable information?

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Svante Werger, Strategic advisor

Werger finishes by talking about all the ways his team is planning to get official information and recommendations and rules out to people.

Once everyone was finished talking, it was time for questions.

Question 1 was about retirement communities. There’s reports that some already have coronavirus in them. So what are you planning to do?

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The press corps at the Swedish public health press conference

Anders Tegnell says: we have recommendations to stop virus spread in retirement homes. However, these recommendation won’t work 100%. So far, we’ve done pretty good but it’s impossible to completely stop it. But <<something something>>. The more the guidelines are followed, the better.

Then there was a back-and-forth between a journalist and Anders Tegnell about mouth masks. The journalist was saying that doctors want mouth masks, but according to the national recommendations, mouth masks are not essential protective equipment (??)

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Journalist

Anders Tegnell answers: well, first, when we take decisions about what is essential protective equipment, we do want to make sure those decisions have buy-in from the doctors. Second, know that more protection doesn’t necessarily mean better protection. Sometimes, more protection makes it hard to do your job.

Journalist: But you say that there’s not a lot of science yet about what protective equipment is essential. Why are you therefore deciding to have less protection than may potentially be necessary, instead of more protection?

Anders: I didn’t say there’s no science about it, I said there’s no published science about it. So <<something something>>, and we’re going to follow that.

There was a person in the audience who actually wasn’t a journalist, but it was a person who works in a retirement community. He asked: we have one person sick already. Should we be testing our staff without symptoms to be sure they don’t have it? Why wait till someone has symptoms?

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Man working at the retirement home

Anders Tegnell: there’s no test that can detect coronavirus without symptoms. The test won’t give you good results.

Then they closed out the press conference, and they did individual interviews. First, there was an interview with Anders Tegnell, in which he asserted: looks like we’ll have a relatively flat coronavirus curve here in Sweden. But of course, there’s a lot of pressure on the hospitals, especially in Stockholm.

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Anders Tegnell at his individual interview

Diamant Salihu, the SVT correspondent, asks him: Sweden has twice as high a death rate as Norway and Germany. Why?

Anders Tegnell: I don’t think we should make those comparisons at this point, we’re all at different points in the epidemic. If you look at Denmark and Netherlands, they have many more deaths than Sweden.

Then there’s an individual interview with Taha Alexandersson, who is repeating the advice that no one travels during Easter.

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Taha Alexandersson

Finally, it’s back to the studio with Hiba. Hiba is joined by a reporter, so they can talk back and forth.

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Iva Horvatovic

And what do they talk about? First, they again have to drag the US into it: there’s over 100,000 cases.

And here are their final summaries:

— so far, the hospitals are coping in Sweden, but it can get overwhelming quite quickly.

— the government is not making super strict laws about self-isolating and quarantining, because this is something that can continue for a while, and they want to have guidelines in place that people will be able to follow for months and months.

— how are Sweden’s measures being reported in international media? According to Iva, here’s been some articles about it, and the criticisms are mostly in the comment sections.

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