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[Slashdot] - WHO Lauds Lockdown-Ignoring Sweden As a 'Model' For Countries Going Forward

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Post: The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a "model" for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns -- after the nation controversially refused restrictions. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergencies expert, said Wednesday there are "lessons to be learned" from the Scandinavian nation, which has largely relied on citizens to self-regulate. "I think there's a perception out that Sweden has not put in control measures and just has allowed the disease to spread," Ryan told reporters. "Nothing can be further from the truth." Ryan noted that instead of lockdowns, the country has "put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long-term care facilities." "What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate," Ryan said. "In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population." He said the country also ramped up testing and had adequate capacity in hospitals to handle any outbreaks. "I think if we are to reach a new normal, Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don't have lockdowns," Ryan said. Last month, more than 2,300 Swedish researchers penned a letter demanding the government enact stricter regulations. "Until we get a better idea of the situation, I think it is a good idea to close schools, restaurants and entertainment venues," said Olle Kampe, an immunology researcher at the Karolinska Institute, in March. "[Sweden], which has a population of 10.3 million, has seen more than 20,300 cases and 2,462 deaths as of Thursday afternoon -- far higher than its Nordic neighbors, which implemented stricter containment measures," the report adds.

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