Beware second waves of COVID-19 if lockdowns eased early

Compton_effect

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Beware second waves of COVID-19 if lockdowns eased early: study

LONDON (Reuters) - Extending school and work closures at the coronavirus’ ground zero in China may delay a second wave of infections, researchers said on Thursday, urging the rest of the world to take note.

FILE PHOTO: Residents bid farewell from their homes to a medical team from Guizhou province who is leaving Wuhan, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hubei province, China March 25, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS
With containment measures largely successful and the epidemic’s epicenter now in Europe, China has loosened a two-month lockdown in the city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus is thought to have jumped from wildlife to people late last year.

But a study in The Lancet Public Health journal suggested continuing Wuhan’s shutdowns until April would push a potential second wave of COVID-19 - the disease caused by the new virus - until later in the year. That would give health services more time to recover and expand, potentially saving lives.

“The city now needs to be really careful to avoid prematurely lifting physical distancing measures, because that could lead to an earlier secondary peak in cases,” said Kiesha Prem, a specialist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), who co-led the research.

“If they relax the restrictions gradually, this is likely to both delay and flatten the peak.”


The study used mathematical modeling to simulate either extending or relaxing school and workplace closures in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people whose name has become synonymous with the coronavirus for much of the world.

By lifting control measures now, a second rush of infections may occur in late August, the analysis suggested. But keeping lockdown measures until April would likely delay a second peak until October — giving healthcare workers a chance to regroup.

RESURGENCE FEARS
Those findings were “crucial for policy makers everywhere”, said Tim Colbourn, an expert in global health epidemiology at University College London, who was not directly involved in the study.

Stunned by the disease’s rapid spread, governments around the world are trying to replicate China’s draconian lockdown measures while also working out the risk of recurrences once the epidemic peaks have passed in their countries.


“Our results won’t look exactly the same in another country,” said Yang Liu, an LSHTM expert who also worked on the research. “But we think one thing probably applies everywhere: physical distancing measures are very useful, and we need to carefully adjust their lifting to avoid subsequent waves of infection ... If those waves come too quickly, that could overwhelm health systems.”

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday expressed the same view, saying lockdowns were the best way to curb transmission.

“The last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence,” he said.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Underscore is by me. Just to emphasize that paragraph. This is not going to be over in 21 days.
 

Lupus

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No Sh$ all you've done is move the goalpost as the people are now not out there getting it or spreading it. So the next time someone who still has it comes back it spreads again.
 

Compton_effect

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No Sh$ all you've done is move the goalpost as the people are now not out there getting it or spreading it. So the next time someone who still has it comes back it spreads again.
Its all about building up herd immunity while making sure the hospitals can handle the load. Welcome to the new normal.

This isn't a Sprint. This is a Marathon.
 
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Messugga

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No Sh$ all you've done is move the goalpost as the people are now not out there getting it or spreading it. So the next time someone who still has it comes back it spreads again.
I was actually thinking about this. Giving people a couple of days' notice of the lock-down I wonder whether the authorities knew people would go panic buying and get exposed, and whether that wasn't the intent.
If the virus spread drastically over the last few days, which I would guess was the case, you have a bunch of sick people staying home, getting better, building heard immunity but at the same time not spreading the virus beyond their immediate families. Essentially, you'll have a spike but then a plateau.

Pure speculation by someone who isn't an expert in the least.
 

Compton_effect

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Personally - certain items of this lockdown was done by intent.
Specifically the timing of the notes on Alcohol and Tobacco Products.
 

chrisc

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All the Castle, Tafel and Amstel beer was gone from my local Ultra
I got there at 4.00 yesterday, a bit late
 

SAguy

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When they do lift lockdown they should still have strict restrictions:

Allow more stores to be open to alleviate financial burden on staff, but limit feet in store
Allow people to walk on the streets but not with anyone not in your household, etc

No 25 person piss-up after lockdown party which people are going to do...
 

Compton_effect

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When they do lift lockdown they should still have strict restrictions:

Allow more stores to be open to alleviate financial burden on staff, but limit feet in store
Allow people to walk on the streets but not with anyone not in your household, etc

No 25 person piss-up after lockdown party which people are going to do...
Keep at least 2 weeks of the measures before lockdown, as well as a curfew. We need to turn a lot of this into a habit.
We do not want post-lockdown parties. And still block all incoming passenger flights.
 

Gordon_R

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Nobody is talking about how long the lockdown will last in SA, but it will almost certainly be longer than 21 days.

In the UK they are looking at measures lasting into the three months timeframe:
 

Mila

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The stare of emergency was announced for 90 days.

I guess, if we have enough tests, if we can get enough people healthy and tested back to get online services back to work, but what about education? All is good and well for people with online classrooms but moat are not that lucky
 

SAguy

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I can support a 90 day lockdown, but then there must be some relaxation of certain restrictions. Like hardware/homeware goods being open, even if you may only shop alone. Being able to walk your dog or jog, but also alone.

That way if cops see two people together on the streets, it's still prohibited and they can be stopped.
 

RedViking

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I can support a 90 day lockdown, but then there must be some relaxation of certain restrictions. Like hardware/homeware goods being open, even if you may only shop alone. Being able to walk your dog or jog, but also alone.

That way if cops see two people together on the streets, it's still prohibited and they can be stopped.
You support 90 day lockdown because you still get an income. For most it will be suicide.
 

Chris_the_Brit

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I can support a 90 day lockdown, but then there must be some relaxation of certain restrictions. Like hardware/homeware goods being open, even if you may only shop alone. Being able to walk your dog or jog, but also alone.

That way if cops see two people together on the streets, it's still prohibited and they can be stopped.
There won't be an economy to come back to with a 3-month lockdown.
 
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