"Finland and Norway boast the West’s lowest rates of mortality,..now stand out as the closest Western equivalents to Asian nations that have managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic."

Their recipe:

@bopanc @eppe


"Their recipe: a brief, targeted lockdown in March, followed by tight border controls with mandatory testing and quarantine for all travelers.

"Finland and Norway follow a similar playbook of strict border controls, mandatory quarantines and detailed contact-tracing focused on preventing superspreading events when infections do occur.

"Elsewhere in Europe, strict lockdowns in the spring helped bring infections down, but as most of the continent reopened borders, summer travelers turned into incubators for a new and bigger wave of infections.

"Stopping inbound international travel early and urging Finns not to travel abroad was the foundation of Finland’s success, said Mika Salminen, director of the Department of Health Security and one of the architects of the pandemic strategy.

"As a consequence, air travel dropped by 95%, and over 94% of Finns vacationed within their country from May to August—with the rest traveling mainly to Norway.

“That meant we didn’t import infections like most of Europe did,” Mr. Salminen said.

In Norway, government and opposition parties held a joint news conference in March to support the nation’s pandemic policy.

"The government has published every piece of expert advice underpinning the measures, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg holds televised news conferences for children, where she and her ministers field questions about the pandemic. Similar events took place in Finland in April.

"On the health front, authorities in Norway and Finland are able to trace the origin of most new coronavirus cases whereas in Germany, which has fared better in the pandemic than most large European nations, the origin can’t be determined in 75% of cases.

"When Norwegian authorities noticed that the incidence of Covid-19 was higher among some minorities, they organized meetings with community and religious leaders to devise a common information strategy.

"Nearly half of Finland’s 5.5 million inhabitants use the government’s coronavirus contact-tracing app—among the highest rates in Europe—and compliance with the rules exceeds 80%, said Vivikka Richt, spokeswoman for the health care ministry.

"“When the government makes rules to protect us from a pandemic, we don’t go out to streets to protest against them like [people did in] other countries,” Ms. Richt said in reference to protests across the U.S. and Europe.

"Norway, like Finland, has a decentralized system where municipalities enjoy some latitude. Oslo, the capital, banned all bars and restaurants from serving alcohol this week after data showed the virus was spreading faster among young adults when they consumed alcohol.

"Companies adapted too. At Helsinki-based OP Financial Group, around 9,000 of the more than 12,000 employees worked from home in the spring. Now that figure dropped to 7,000, but only 30% of the staff can be present at the office simultaneously, said Hannakaisa Länsisalmi

"The approach has brought economic dividends. Gross domestic product in Norway and Finland is set to drop by 2.8% and 4%, respectively, in 2020 compared with falls of 12.8% in Spain and 9.8% in France and Britain,

👉Now why not take the next step and get to zero?

Voluntarily reducing non-essential inter-community travel wil establish green zones. Focusing efforts on red zones will get the whole country to zero community transmission.

With international travel restrictions already in place, restoring normal social and economic life will benefit everyone in Finland and Norway.

Open travel to other green zone countries, and be an example for the world.


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More from @yaneerbaryam

19 Nov
Coronavirus update:

Europe's daily cases continue to drop. In France, the number of critical cases began to plateau recently. We should expect a plateau and a subsequent drop in daily death tolls if this trend is to continue.
Serbia has not yet peaked in this wave. Yesterday, they reported 4,994 cases with 24 deaths, both are all-time highs.
Uruguay reported 104 new cases yesterday, marking the first time for the country to surpass 100. Recent growth is coupled with a rise in test positivity, though still relatively low, it is just over 2%, which is a new high.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
"HALIFAX—This morning, my children went to school—in an old brick building, where they lined up to go in the scuffed front doors. I went to work out at the gym, the real gym, where I huffed and puffed in a sweaty group class
"And a few days ago, my partner and I hosted a dinner party, gathering eight friends around the dining room table for a boisterous night that went too late. Remember those?

"Where I’m living, we gather without fear. Life is unfolding much as it did a year ago. This magical, virus-free world is just one long day’s drive away from the Empire State Building — in a parallel dimension called Nova Scotia.

Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Great! South Australia reacts fast to stop the new outbreak starting last few days and get back to normal.

(Note: Victoria is still COVID free and the strong lockdown in SA will protect other states as well)
"South Australia will go into a full lockdown for at least six days from midnight Wednesday night to nip the latest COVID-19 wave in its bud

As part of the toughest lockdown our nation has seen so far, schools, universities, cafes, pubs, takeaway shops and restaurants will close
Video on lockdown announcement in South Australia:

Fast action:

Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
US reported 158,453 cases yesterday. As cases surge, hospitalizations are also at all-time high, with every state seeing increases over the last two weeks. Now well over 70k are currently hospitalized, while the previous two waves peak at 60k.
Canada's cases continue to rise. Yesterday, they reported a new high of 6,027, as Alberta’s daily average approaches 1k.
Daily cases in Europe have been dropping recently. The daily average is below 250k for the first time since late October, mostly due to the recent decreases in countries like France, Germany, and Spain.
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
US reported 133,045 cases yesterday, the lowest in the last week. The total confirmed cases in the US hit 11M. The latest million was reached with only 6 days, the fastest ever. Image
Daily cases in Mexico are currently increasing, after decreasing for a few months. Yesterday, Mexico became the 11th country to reach 1M confirmed cases.

This has resulted in a death toll of almost 100k, ranked 4th in the world. Image
Sweden announces a ban on gatherings of more than 8 people, as average daily infections reach 3 times of the first wave. Their test positivity rate also surged significantly during this wave, now at 13%, while it averaged below 4% during its worst days in the first wave. Image
Read 4 tweets
14 Nov
It is manifest that retailers in many parts of the world, owners of airlines, restaurants, bars, shops, are pressing governments to open up the economy even though it will cause disease, death and disability.

They are short sighted in their advocacy, after all we see the benefits of strong action in Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia in stopping the outbreak and opening normally.

The economic recovery depends on eliminating the virus. Opening partway then closing, opening and closing will bankrupt business. Business owners are misled in thinking opening with the virus will benefit them. Entire branches of the economy are being destroyed.

Read 14 tweets

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