ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exiting the Lockdown Sustainably

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Exiting the lockdown before a vaccine is available or herd immunity is in effect is a problem, especially because it appears that up to 50% of people with COVID-19 could be asymptomatic—they could have and carry the disease without symptoms. In the British Medical Journal’s review of data on infections in Wuhan, China and other studies of the data from Italy, 78% of carriers were asymptomatic. The only way of identifying asymptomatic carriers would be through widespread testing or contact tracing. Exiting the lockdown in the presence of asymptomatic people before a vaccine or herd immunity will send us back into lockdown, again and again.

Not exiting the lockdown is a problem too. No amount of drama in the economic statistics—a doubling of unemployment in a few weeks, 100% declines in government revenues or revenues in travel-related sectors, a contraction of the global economy—describes the stark reality that a vast majority of the population in developing countries do not have the savings to survive without income for even short periods. Not all countries are like Norway. While the bloody protests in the United States reflect deep iniquities, it would be hard to conjure up circumstances more likely to tear apart the social fabric of our societies than to make a large part of the population unemployed and hungry and take away their everyday freedoms.

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Updated On : 24th Dec, 2020

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