As the first few cases of coronavirus began to surface in India in mid-March, indicating that the Wuhan coronavirus’s presence in India, PM Modi immediately ordered the implementation of the most potent measure hitherto to contain the spread of the virus—nationwide lockdown.
The first phase of India’s stringent coronavirus lockdown started on March 25 and continued for 21 days till April 15 where everyone was advised to hunker down at their homes and help the government in blunting the spread of the coronavirus.
PM Modi’s prompt call to enforce sweeping nationwide lockdown did not sit well with his detractors who hurriedly proceeded to proclaim that the Indian Prime Minister had erred by announcing a broad lockdown. They reasoned that there existed other better measures that should have been adopted by India which would not have been as economically challenging as the countrywide lockdown had been.
They presented and advocated the model espoused by the nordic country—Sweden, which resolutely refused to impose lockdown even as the coronavirus surreptitiously rampaged through the country.
Liberals went into raptures about Sweden’s coronavirus approach
Scores of leftist individuals took to Twitter to deride India’s approach in containing the coronavirus spread. Many of them harboured pathological hatred for PM Modi and have exhibited compulsively contrarian behaviour to target the Modi government. They extolled Sweden’s strategy of not imposing a blanket ban on the country’s economic activities while simultaneously limiting the spread of the contagion.
Aakar Patel, writer and columnist, indirectly slammed India’s decision to enforce widespread restrictions by citing Singapore, Sweden and Netherlands’ nonchalant approach in getting a handle at the coronavirus.
No lockdown in Singapore, Sweden, Netherlands.
Schools, businesses open. Incorrect to say that this is the only solution. There are others.
— Aakar Patel (@Aakar__Patel) March 29, 2020
Prashant Bhushan, who habitually lies to show the Modi government in a bad light, also lauded Sweden for being the only country in Europe to refuse to enforce lockdown.
Lockdown kills more than Covid: “Excess mortality was 60% in Belgium, 51% in Netherlands, but only 12% in Sweden. Sweden was the only European country that refused to lock down, and kept going while advocating social distancing, frequent hand washing etc”https://t.co/q51fAViEzK
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) May 3, 2020
Sagarika Ghose, infamous for her legendary journalism, hailed Sweden’s decision of not locking down their country in the face of the threat posed by a coronavirus. She tweeted that Sweden had not enforced lockdown because it had developed “herd immunity”.
There is no #lockdown in Sweden, instead people are much safer from #COVIDー19 because there is #herdimmunity. Sweden is one of the only countries to adopt herd immunity over lockdown. https://t.co/Y02E7kMLaC via @viceuk
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) May 6, 2020
Another prominent liberal, Ashok Swain, a foul-mouthed professor who feels no compunction in peddling lies, authored an article suggesting India adopt Sweden’s approach in tackling the coronavirus crisis.
Taking a swipe at the Modi government, he said that Sweden had taken allowed its policy to be curated by experts and not politicians, devised its own approach instead of copying others, did not indulge in the blame game, supported health care workers rather than public spectacles and cluster-wise her immunity inter alias.
#MyPiece – What India can learn from Sweden’s #COVID19 Strategy:
1. Decision by experts NOT politicians,
2. Precise pro-active policy NOT copying others,
3. NO blame game
4. Support Health workers NO public speactcles
5. Cluster-wise herd immunityhttps://t.co/fZpu7fux54 pic.twitter.com/R7DaUznuXp
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) May 6, 2020
Professor Steve Hanke, who is critical of the Modi government, also sang praises of coronavirus strategies employed by Singapore, Sweden, South Korea and Hong Kong while criticising the Indian strategy of enforcing stringent lockdown.
Nations were prepared. I have pushed for the #SouthKorea, #Singapore, #HK, & #Sweden strategies. Small & lean governments avoid #GovtFailure & panic. Their #TestAndTrace programs have been successful. I have always been critical of big gov’t, be it in #Italy, #India, or the #US. https://t.co/5JL94e4Ld0
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) April 3, 2020
Sweden in-charge of COVID-19 response says his country’s coronavirus approach was flawed
However, according to the latest admission by Anders Tegnell, the man behind Sweden’s laissez-faire policy of not imposing the lockdown, the approach espoused by his country in handling the coronavirus crisis was flawed. While speaking on Swedish public radio, the epidemiologist and in-charge of country’s COVID-19 response, Tegnell said: “If we were to encounter the same disease again, knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would settle on doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done.”
1, 2 & 3 were telling us to follow 4. pic.twitter.com/rV701kaSvM
— Strategic Spaminder Bharti (@attomeybharti) June 3, 2020
The comments by Tegnell followed mounting criticism of Sweden’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Sweden remains the only Scandinavian country that has registered an outsize number of casualties resulting from COVID-19. While the total number of infection in Sweden amounted to 38,589 with 4,468 fatalities, Denmark, Norway and Finland, who had diligently imposed lockdown, have seen far lower rates of infection and mortalities. Denmark has seen 580 deaths, Norway and Finland registered 237 and 320 deaths respectively.