Norway’s PM Admits She Panicked, Locked Down Country “Out of Fear”
"I probably took many of the decisions out of fear. Worst case scenarios became controlling, and we kept thinking; ''how can we be a leader?"
Norway’s Prime Minister has admitted that she took the decision to close down schools amid the coronavirus pandemic ‘out of fear’.
The country’s leader Erna Solberg took to Norweigian television on Wednesday to admit that she had panicked while imposing the strict lockdown measures and but made the decision as a ‘precautionary’ move.
During an interview with state broadcaster NRK, the politician said: ‘Was it necessary to close schools? Maybe not. But at the same time, I think it was the right thing to do at the time. Based on the information we had, we took a precautionary strategy.’
Ms Solberg, who announced plans to fully lift Norway’s coronavirus lockdown by mid-June, went on to say she and the Directorate of Health overruled the advice of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health which had suggested that schools remain open.
She added: ‘I probably took many of the decisions out of fear. Worst case scenarios became controlling, and we kept thinking; ”how can we be a leader?”
‘These scenarios mean that you could say ”maybe we’re going to get hit harder than we thought”, but we shouldn’t actually hold back even though we’re not sure it’s going to be that bad.”‘
On March 12, the same day the country faced its first Covid-19 death, the Directorate of Health announced it would close all kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, universities and college in an effort to control the spread of the virus.
As the number of cases increased the government also asked everyone arriving in Norway from February 27 to enter a compulsory quarantine in their homes and group gatherings, including cultural and sport events, were banned.
The country has so far reported 8,437 cases of Covid-19 and 236 deaths.
The Prime Minister’s comments come just weeks after Camilla Stoltenberg, the director-general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said the country could have achieved the same effects by ‘not locking down’.
She told state broadcaster NRK: ‘Our assessment now….is that we could possibly have achieved the same effects and avoided some of the unfortunate impacts by not locking down, but by instead keeping open but with infection control measures.’
Earlier this month, Norway announced plans to fully lift its coronavirus lockdown by mid-June.
Source: The Daily Mail