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In Sweden, testing numbers has reflected the number of tests done rather than the number of ill since March 12th when the strategy was shifted from contact tracing and isolation to flattening the curve (of ill requiring hospital care) and raising the bar (of ICU beds). Because there was a lack of everything, testing was thus reserved for patients arriving to the hospital and staff (who had symtoms or who had been exposed). Testing is being scaled up, which will likely lead to a higher number of positive tests, but it won't mean much in terms of how the illness is spreading.

Increasing ICU beds has been very succesfull, which means that patients needing ICU treatment for Covid-19 is a good measurement, as is patients at hospital for Covd-19 in general. Basically everything that can be postponed has been postponed, the government has promised to pick up the tab and the counties has shifted the hospitals into focusing on Covid-19.

Also Swedish death statistics are good and numbers for the dead in Covid-19 match well with excess death. Deaths, ICU beds used for Covid-19 and patients in hospital for Covid-19 for Sweden can all be found on c19.se. Link goes to the page in english, but i notice IVA has been left untranslated. IVA is ICU. I recomend the logarithmic view and hovering over the datapoints to get the numbers by day.

A good thing is that (unless yesterdays slight increase is the start of a new trend), deaths , ICU beds and patients in hospital all seems to have peaked in late April. With a timelag for symtoms to manifest and the illness to proceed until death, this would mean that the strategy implemeted in late March was succesfull in breaking the spread and maximum new infected per day was in late March. With Sweden's death rates and a strategy that looks way more lenient then most, that is a counterintuitive conclusion but it still looks that way.

Possible other reasons for the high death rate includes a large undetected early spread (possibly due to the February break), a late start with the strategy, factors regarding nursing homes in Stockholm (Stockholm has 22% of the population and 50% of the deaths in Covid-19), but there is as far as I know not much in way of studies yet. Lots of opinions though.

by fjallstrom on Tue May 19th, 2020 at 09:08:02 AM EST

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