WHO praises Sweden for setting up coronavirus-related commission

6 July 2020 17:18 (UTC+04:00)

By Trend

The World Health Organization( WHO) said on Sunday that it appreciated Sweden setting up a commission to review the country's handling of the coronavirus crisis, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

"Sweden has done something very important by starting an investigation to understand how the strategy worked. The WHO really appreciates this initiative, which other countries should also learn from," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.

The Swedish government appointed a commission on June 30 to evaluate the country's coronavirus strategy and the roles of the government, public agencies and regional authorities in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus and its impact.

The commission will be led by a lawyer and include representatives from the national health care system and municipalities as well as political scientists, economists, and experts on ethics and crisis handling, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said at a news conference on June 30.

Initially, Lofven had said the inquest would be conducted after the end of the coronavirus crisis, but other political party leaders pushed for it earlier so that lessons can be drawn quickly and leaders and experts can be held to account.

A 22-page document outlining the commission's remit was sent to the leaders of all parliamentary parties, who had until July 3 to submit their own input.

Swedish media that have seen the document reported that it includes plans to assess the preparedness and resources of the elderly care system, to analyze the significance of travel when it comes to the infection rate in Sweden and other Nordic countries, and to evaluate the Public Health Agency's recommendations and the extent to which Swedes followed social-distancing directives. The commission will also look into how the epidemic started and developed in Sweden as well as summarize its socioeconomic consequences. In addition, it will make an international comparison with "relevant countries" of the various measures taken there.

According to a statement on the government's website, the commission will present its findings by Feb. 28, 2022 at the latest. The general election will take place on Sept. 11 that year. The commission will also present partial reports on Nov. 30 this year and on Oct. 31 next year, with the first of those reports to include an inquiry into the spread of the virus within the elderly care system.

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