Sweden coronavirus press conference, April 13, 2020

On this day, there are 1.8 million cases worldwide.

Today, it was Anders Wallensten giving the main updates.

april 13 a
Anders Wallensten

When Anders Wallensten saw the first slide, he said: eh, eh, this is an old slide-deck, no?

But he was told, no, this is the current one. So he went on, in a very hesitant voice, reciting the statistics, but then he finally stopped and said: no, this is wrong, yes?

This time, the slides were switched out for the most recent ones, and they started over. ‘The real numbers are not so different, but we must show it correct.’

However, even with the correct slides, Wallensten kept saying how not all the numbers from the weekend have been reported yet. Thus, while it appears as though there’s been a sharp fall in new cases, it will look differently once the lag in reporting has been corrected. So we’ll wait till tomorrow to know what the real numbers are.

So for my part, I am not even going to include the numbers here.

After Wallensten was finished talking, it was the turn of this lady in the ponytail.

april 13 b

She was talking about what medical supplies are available, and what the outlook for any shortages looks like. The whole time she was talking, Wallensten, who perhaps was very troubled on this day, kept giving her confused looks. So she kept looking back, and pausing a bit, and sometimes he’d nod back, confusion still in place though. But the nod would be enough that she’d continue.

april 13 c

The last person to talk from the press conference was this nice lady:

april 13 d
Maria Bergstrand

She always has a speech prepared, with a neat and clear introduction, middle, and end. She’s the one who says things like: guys, good job! Keep it up. This time she said that there is a risk of shortages of the chemicals needed to purify drinking water. And also that if enough truck drivers get sick, there will be difficulties in delivering supplies and goods across Sweden. She wasn’t saying that these risks were immediate, just that they might pop up later. Also, the spring flood season is coming up. And after that, the forest fire season will be upon us. The people in charge of dealing with these annual issues need to plan now for how to deal with them during coronavirus times.

Look at the serious look of this reporter as he listens:

april 13 e

There were lots of questions during this press conference.

Reporter: Do we know why there’s been so much spread in retirement homes?

Anders Wallensten: We have a group looking at that now. They don’t have conclusions yet.

Reporter again: But the spread in retirement homes is a problem not just confined to Stockholm now. We’re seeing it pop up in other parts of the country. So what kinds of suggestions and tools can be offered to help them?

Anders Wallensten: Yes, we want to stop the spread. But just because coronavirus has popped up in a retirement home, doesn’t mean everyone in the home is sick. It could be that a single patient is isolated and no one else gets it.

Question: Where do you think Stockholm is on the curve?

Anders Wallensten: as I’ve said, since we don’t yet have good figures from the weekend, we can’t say. But we hope that things will look steady. We have people calculating when we should be reaching the peak, and we will in the coming days or next week be presenting about that.

After the end of the press conference, there was the individual interview.

april 13 f
Anders Wallensten

Reporter: Why are tomorrow’s updated figures so important?

Anders Wallensten: It’s been a long holiday weekend, so there should be a large increase in the number of reported cases.

Reporter: Has there been an unusually sharp decrease in cases reported this particular weekend? And what might that mean?

Anders Wallensten: There’s some difference every weekend. If we should interpret that in some way, I don’t really way. Maybe it’s due to a lower number of cases, but it could also be due to how many people were at work and what the internal processes were for reporting. It’s hard to know all those processes during Easter.

Reporter: What’s the biggest worry right now?

Anders Wallensten: the spread in retirement homes.

Reporter: Denmark and Sweden have very large differences in their mortality rate from coronavirus. Why do you think this is? (Denmark’s is lower)

Anders Wallensten: Well, it can depend on several factors. You mentioned earlier that different countries have different ways of reporting cause of death, so it could be due to that. It could be due to: how actively have  you tested disease spread in retirement homes? It can also be that the disease is striking different people in each country. We also maybe don’t know right now how this will end. When other countries relax their restrictions, they might get a second wave of infections. There might also be more cases in the fall. So I think it’s too early to say anything.

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