Former Norwegian health minister on Sweden’s pandemic school policy: “We probably have something to learn from Sweden there.”
Ex-health minister declares that “we could have protected children and young people to a greater extent against the consequences of the infection control measures”
Last month, former Swedish State Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and former Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie met at a conference in Oslo to discuss lessons learned from their respective pandemic policies.
Tegnell noted that Sweden could learn from Norwegian care home policies and Høie — Norway’s health minister from 2013 to 2021 — said that Sweden’s approach to children and schools offered potential lessons for Norway on protecting children “against the consequences of the infection control measures.”
We can probably look at how we could have protected children and young people to a greater extent against the consequences of the infection control measures. We probably have something to learn from Sweden there. In Norway, we also closed the schools for the youngest children, but they did not do that in Sweden.
Høie added that Norway’s school closures — which were extremely short compared to those in the United States — may have “long-term consequences for children and young people’s health, which we do not know about today.”
We also tended to have stricter and longer-lasting measures aimed at children and young people during the pandemic than there was a basis for. This can have long-term consequences for children and young people’s health, which we do not know about today.
Last spring, a lengthy government report argued that the Norwegian government didn’t do enough to protect children from the negative consequences of pandemic measures. The Local Norway shared a translated passage from the report stating that “children and young people are worse affected by restrictions than by infections…”
“To put it a little simply, we can say that children and young people are worse affected by restrictions than by infections and that there is a difference between what you miss out on over a year when you are 16 compared to when you are 46,” the report states.
Speaking more generally at the Oslo conference, the former Norwegian health minister said…