Lockdowns are not more harmful than coronavirus: Study

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Jul 20, 2021, 04:15 PM(IST)

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks through the deserted city centre at morning commute hour during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, June 30, 2021. (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

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Some people have been religiously following lockdowns imposed by their local government, but many have protested against these curfews and have complained that these feel more deadly than Covid. But is it true? Scientists answer

Contrary to the popular belief of anti-lockdown supporters, a study has revealed that lockdowns are not more harmful to health than coronavirus itself.

An analysis of global health data suggested that there is very little evidence that supports the idea that the way of breaking the chain of the spread of Covid is worse than the virus itself.

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The study published in the journal BMJ Global Health researched data of countries that imposed strict curfews with few Covid cases and tried to assess if it led to an increase in the death rate, in general.

Data regarding all-cause mortality was collected from 94 countries. As per the analysis, countries such as Australia and New Zealand showed no specific increase in the general mortality rate. However, countries where the Covid curfew was not imposed very strictly (such as Brazil, Sweden, Russia and some states in the US), observed large numbers of excess deaths during the pandemic.

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"It is … one of the most compelling pieces of evidence to support the notion that the cure was not worse than the disease," author Prof Gavin Yamey, from the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University said. "It does seem that countries that acted quickly and aggressively often had fewer deaths than in previous years. One study showed that lockdown may have reduced annual mortality by up to 6% from eliminating flu transmission alone."

However, researchers have also been very clear that this data cannot be used to draw conclusions for every country, in every situation. They have also stressed that the extra-mortality data cannot rule out the harms caused by the lockdown. The data can also not conclude that lockdowns are extremely beneficial, especially since few countries did not pursue such strategies.

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