A new study based on China’s COVID-19 outbreak has warned that lockdowns across the globe shouldn’t be completely lifted until the disease’s vaccine is found.
With businesses threatened, global leaders have expressed doubts as regards the sustainability of maintaining a national lockdown as part of measures towards containing the spread of the virus.
Making an example of China, Joseph Wu, a professor with the University of Hong Kong, wrote in the Lancet Journal that the Asian country’s restrictions helped end its first wave of the outbreak.
Wu, alongside other Chinese researchers, were said to have used mathematical modeling to show that premature lifting of the current measures could result in a sweeping second wave of infection.
“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,” said Wu in the report.
“Businesses and schools gradually resume and increase social mixing, particularly given the increased risk of imported cases from overseas as COVID-19 continues to spread globally.
“Control policies such as physical distancing and behavioral change are likely to be maintained for some time.
“But striking a balance between resuming economic activities and keeping the reproductive number below one is likely to be the best strategy until effective vaccines become widely available.”
In their findings, the experts warned that the speed at which people are infected would rise unless leaders ensured that restrictions were lifted slowly and transmission was closely monitored.
The COVID-19 pandemic has so far claimed the lives of nearly 96,000 people worldwide while infecting over 1.6 million across more than 204 countries.
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