Implement distance education in Swedish universities to prevent the spread of COVID-19

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The spread of COVID-19 across Europe has raised concern among the governments and peoples of a number of European countries. In conjunction with the increase in cases of infection as well as the related deaths, precautionary measures have been taken in order to prevent further cases and contain the virus.
 
Accordingly, universities and schools, as some of the main gathering points, have been closed in certain countries. Nonetheless, their activities are being continued through digital channels by implementing a distance learning approach.
 
Swedish universities’ recommendations on COVID-19 have not risen to match the scale of a pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and show a lack of understanding of the severity – current and potential – of the situation.
The first recommendation (“stay home if you are ill or have symptoms of a respiratory infection”) is not only unscientific but also potentially dangerous, as it instils the idea in people that the absence of symptoms equates with non-infection. WHO statistics show that 80% of cases are mild or asymptomatic, thus making such a recommendation unfit for the purposes of protecting studentsand controlling the spread of the virus.
 
The closing of Swedish universities and högskolor and consequent implementation of distance learning for a minimum of 4 weeks – or until the peak of the crisis is averted – would result in a containment of the spread of COVID-19.
Closure would help flatten the exponential curve, allowing the health system to be able to treat a limited number of cases at a time, as well as ensuring greater safety for the whole population.
 
The signatories of this petition call upon Utbildningsdepartementet (Ministry of Education and Research) to take the following actions:
 
-     To terminate physical seminars and lectures for a period of at least one month;
 
-      To move teaching and study activities online insofar as possible.