Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Scientists propose a 50 days on, 30 days off coronavirus lockdown strategy

A pedestrian walks past closed-down shops on an empty Regent Street in London on April 2, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Tolga Akmen

By Chloe Taylor

Fifty days of strict lockdowns followed by 30 days where measures are eased could be an effective strategy for reducing Covid-19 deaths while ensuring some level of economic protection, scientists claim.

In an EU-backed study published on Wednesday, a cohort of researchers from nine countries simulated how various lockdown strategies would impact the spread of the coronavirus.

There have been almost 5 million cases of Covid-19 confirmed globally, with over 300,000 deaths from the virus worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Many governments have imposed some form of lockdown to mitigate transmission of the virus. But policymakers around the world are now calculating ways to gradually lift those measures as the pandemic weighs heavily on economic activity.

Scientists suggested in the new report that an alternative, more effective approach to indefinite or milder lockdowns could be alternating stricter measures with intervals of relaxed social distancing. Effective testing, contact tracing and isolation strategies, as well as efforts to shield society’s most vulnerable, would be consistently kept in place.  Read more >>