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A poster of Dr. Tegnell, in Stockholm. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden, which did not go into lockdown, has suffered 15 times as many deaths as has Norway, which did.

The other side: The scientist behind Sweden’s approach, Anders Tegnell, says Sweden also appears to have far more immunity in its population (25% vs. 1–2% in Norway, according to initial tests), and will therefore be well positioned for a potential second wave.

Between the lines: Tegnell anticipates that immunity will last for at least three to six months, though there's insufficient data to know for sure.

  • He contended in a Q&A with the International Center for Journalists on Friday that decisions to lock down across Europe weren't based on any established science. “The costs are enormous,” he argues, and the benefits still unclear.

The big picture: Sweden's death toll stands at 3,256, according to Johns Hopkins.

  • Case counts had continued to trend upwards in recent weeks even as the virus was relatively well contained in neighboring countries, though Tegnell says the latest data suggests the situation is improving.
  • He says the reason for the high death toll is that many elder care homes in and around Stockholm were badly affected.

Worth noting: Despite its more lax approach, Sweden’s economy has been hit hard, the FT notes.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 22, 2020 - Health

Better testing can fight more than the pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New coronavirus diagnostics could eventually enable near-constant testing — and herald a future where even common infections no longer go undiagnosed.

Why it matters: Rapid testing could be especially important during the winter, when it will become vital to quickly distinguish between an ordinary cold or flu and a new disease like COVID-19.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 25, 2020 - Health

The tug of war over the FDA

President Trump watches FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn address the media, Aug. 23. Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

A big story that slipped under the radar during last night's RNC: The FDA commissioner apologized for overselling the benefits of convalescent plasma for treating the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The FDA is supposed to be a Switzerland of neutrality within government, able to act based on science instead of pressure from politicians and big business.