Singapore — Following an admission by Sweden’s top epidemiologist that mistakes were made in his handling of the Covid-19 virus, opposition politician Lim Tean has pointed to similarities in the way Sweden and Singapore dealt with the crisis.
Based on this recent information, Mr Lim argued that Singapore, along with Sweden and the United States, deserve the bottom three slots in the world rankings for countries handling Covid-19.
The People’s Voice founder took to Facebook on Wednesday (June 3) to share an article on Sweden’s Covid-19 situation. According to the story by Bloomberg, Dr Anders Tegnell, who is Sweden’s top epidemiologist, admitted: “If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done.”
Unlike its European neighbours, Sweden did not impose a hard lockdown. Though gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, Swedes are allowed to shop, dine in restaurants, work out at the gym, and send children below 16 to school. Though its lax attitude has earned the country both praise and criticism, such an approach has cost Sweden 43 deaths per 100,000, giving it a place among the world rankings for countries with the highest Covid-19 mortality rate.
Sweden may find itself with a problem as some European nations which are opening up again are not allowing entry to travellers coming from “high-risk Covid zones”. Furthermore, it seems as though Sweden’s lax dealing with Covid-19 has not exempted it from an economic crisis, as Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson recently alerted the country that its GDP is expected to drop by 7%.
Mr Lim highlighted a stark similarity between Sweden and Singapore: “Like the incompetent PAP government and task force, which wasted two-and-a-half months trying to keep the economy open and life going on as ‘normal’, Sweden tried a similar approach and refused to lockdown, unlike its Scandinavian neighbours Denmark and Norway and many many other countries around the world.” He also cited the high mortality rate of Sweden as an effect.
Mr Lim highlighted the initial praise the two countries got, before they became examples of how not to handle Covid-19. “When you do not put people first, but put economic interests ahead, this is what you get!” he said.
Mr Lim feels that this warrants Singapore a place in the bottom three in the world rankings for dealing with Covid-19, together with Sweden and the US.
Concluding his post with a call for transparency, Mr Lim cited how the Swedish government has pledged to examine and study how it initially dealt with the Covid-19 crisis.
He called for Singapore to do the same.
“Singaporeans deserve to have an inquiry now into the way this crisis has been mismanaged by the PAP government and the task force,” he said. “It certainly must take place and all the evidence and the findings published before any GE is called, so that voters can judge the government’s record.” /TISG