Sweden to Stop Publishing Coronavirus Numbers, Deems Them ‘Not Important’

FILE - This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, The Associated Press …
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The Swedish Public Health Authority has decided to adopt a new strategy in regard to the coronavirus outbreak, stating it will no longer be updating exact numbers of infections.

State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell spoke at a press conference this week saying that the health authority would be looking at identifying which regions are the most affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

“We will no longer discuss whether we have 458 or 562 cases. But instead how large parts of Sweden are affected and how hard they are,” Tegnell said.

“These are the kind of questions that will be central to answering. Now it is no longer important to know exactly how many people are infected in Sweden.”

Tegnell also said that the health authority expects there is now a high risk of widespread infection of the general public, saying that current infections could be “the tip of an iceberg” and that cases could be more widespread than previously thought, Aftonbladet reports.

Swedish authorities have called for limiting gatherings and events to under 500 people to combat the spread of the virus. Aome have cancelled events entirely, while others, such as the Stockholm Royal Dramatic Threatre, have promised to keep events under 450 people including audience and staff.

The move to carry on with performances was heavily criticised by Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch Thor, who wrote on Facebook: “Of course there is no difference between having 499 or 500 people in the audience. The risk lies in the fact that many people gather in the same place.”

“In some cases, it is almost inevitable — as in public transport, for example. But theatre visits and other entertainment events can be postponed. It becomes strange that these theatres seem to focus on limiting their losses when the rest of the public sector forces to limit the spread of infection,” she added.

Sweden’s ability to handle a major outbreak of the virus has also been called into question by former infection prevention physician Staffan Sylvan, who said there simply is not enough resources to deal with a major outbreak.

“At present, our hospitals already have major problems in receiving and caring for urgently ill patients. Why this disinformation about our readiness?”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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