Swedish former infection prevention physician Staffan Sylvan has questioned the ability of the Swedish state to handle a major outbreak of the Coronavirus, saying the government is not prepared.
According to Dr Sylvan, while the government has claimed that it is prepared to handle the virus, the actual figures show that there has been no real preparation or planning for a major outbreak that could affect as many as 300,000 people, Expressen reports.
“If or when Covid-19 develops into a pandemic and the National Board of Health estimates that it is true that 20 per cent of the population falls ill, 300,000 people over time need hospital care and 100,000 people need intensive care,” Sylvan said.
According to the doctor, Sweden has just 510 intensive care sites nationwide that manage around 45,500 cases every year and added that in those cases, the patients often need just two to three weeks of care, rather than the longer period required for the Coronavirus.
— Thomas D. Williams (@tdwilliamsrome) February 25, 2020
“At present, our hospitals already have major problems in receiving and caring for urgently ill patients. Why this disinformation about our readiness?” he said.
The warning comes as the Swedish government claimed that the virus was currently a “low risk” to the Swedish public and that it would not be screening airline passengers coming into the country.
While the virus was initially focused in the East Asian region, in recent days Italy has seen a huge surge in confirmed cases, along with seven deaths as a result of the virus. The total of 283 confirmed cases has put Italy in third place for most infections in the world.
The virus has been documented in the northern regions of Italy, leading to shutdowns of entire towns and villages in the commune of Lodi.
New cases have also been recorded in Austria, in the city of Innsbruck on Tuesday among two people who had travelled to the region from Italy by car.