Lift lockdowns when there’s a vaccine, study suggests

Lift lockdowns when there's a vaccine, study suggests
Researchers warned of second wave of outbreak if the restictions ease. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Medical journal The Lancet published a study that suggested coronavirus lockdowns across the globe should not be completely lifted until a vaccine for the disease is found.

Researchers used mathematical modeling to show that premature lifting of measures could result in a sweeping second wave of infection.

China is appearing to beat the virus by imposing draconian restrictions on daily life across much of the country.

The lockdown in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, ended after 76 days on Wednesday. Some restrictions will remain in place, however, with officials conscious of the risk as trains and tourist sites were packed across the country.

Professor Joseph T Wu from the University of Hong Kong, who co-led the research, said: “While these control measures appear to have reduced the number of infections to very low levels, without herd immunity against Covid-19, cases could easily resurge as businesses, factory operations, and schools gradually resume and increase social mixing, particularly given the increasing risk of imported cases from overseas as Covid-19 continues to spread globally.”

In a Wednesday news release, he cautioned that the speed of infection would rise unless governments ensured restrictions were lifted slowly and transmission was closely monitored.

“Although control policies such as physical distancing and behavioral change are likely to be maintained for some time, proactively striking a balance between resuming economic activities and keeping the reproductive number below one is likely to be the best strategy until effective vaccine become widely available.”

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