FoHM Press report: “Jumps and Ups and Some High Bars at the End”


From today’s Nationa Health Authority press conference as it was relayed on SVT new feed:

Anders Tegnell shows four graphs that compare the curves of reported cases in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.Untitled-2

– We have not entered numbers because how to test differs so much.

However, each country has tested in the same way throughout the period shown, so therefore Tegnell thinks it is interesting to see the development in the countries. He mentions that it can be seen that the development has started to go down in Norway while Denmark is still going up more like Sweden’s curve. Finland’s curve has been more uneven with jumps and ups and some high bars at the end.


Anders Tegnell had with him four graphs to compare the curves on reported cases in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.  As it is hard to compare four different graphs, here is a much easier one on just one graph.  This is (presumably same data FoHM was using) the data published today by ECDC.

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Tegnell: Finland’s curve has been more uneven with jumps and ups and some high bars at the end.

When we do test-and-trace, as they do in Finland, and there is low rate of contagion, there will be ups and bumps.  That is because any cluster of positive tests will have an effect on otherwise small numbers.  The high bars at the end may be another cluster that has just been analyzed, or it can be an early indication that the number of infections is growing. 

In the early stages, when the number of confirmed cases were smaller, there were similar jumps and ups in the Danish curve as well.  Apart testing a few induvidual cases in the very beginning of the pandemic, Sweden has failed to test and trace. The ‘jumps’ and ‘ups’ are absent in the Swedish graph.

Tegnell: Denmark is still going up more like Sweden’s curve

Denmark is not at all going up like Sweden.  Sweden’s numbers are going exponentially up, so much so that Sweden has cut past Denmark and is on a runaway trajectory.  Denmark, on the other hand, is clearly showing that the measures they have taken to contain the infection are starting to pay off.  In Denmark the Delta is almost level, as for Sweden. Sweden is taking off like a rocket.

The claim that Denmark is still going up like Sweden has no base in this graph.  Denmark is visibly leveling out, while Sweden is exponentially growing.  Those two things could not be further apart.


If I had to pick one that is closest to Sweden, it would be Finland, as there is a very slight bend toward acceleration.  Although there, too, closest does not mean close, and considering how well the tracing has been done, those ‘high bars at the end’ are more likely than not just another small cluster that will be contained.  But I guess it can be hard to try to figure out for someone.  If you don’t really know what you are talking about, it is much too easy to get lost with all the jumps and ups and high bars.

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Starting with the TT article that estimated that the number of deaths might be twice the reported, when Tegnell responded, I first started suspecting that he might not actually know what he is talking abut.  Now as I hear him with that suspicion already planted, it is starting to grow. 


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