Are Lockdowns Absolutely Necessary to Contain the Coronavirus Pandemic?
|Coronavirus Transmission Rates Before & After Lockdown. Source: JP Morgan|
Are these absolutely necessary? What are its costs and benefits in terms of lives and livelihoods, particularly in developing countries like Pakistan with young populations? Over 40% of all coronavirus deaths in Europe and America have occurred among the elderly living in nursing homes. Pakistanis age 60+ account for 19% of cases but 58% of deaths. Like US and Europe, older people are much more likely to die from coronavirus in Pakistan. But average life expectancy in Pakistan is just 67 years and the median age in the country is only 22 years. The explanations offered for low death rates in South Asia include younger populations, more sunshine, higher temperature and humidity, universal BCG vaccinations etc. Yale researchers have argued in a recently published paper to consider universal mask adoption and increased hygiene measures as an alternative to complete lockdown.
|Coronavirus Infections and Death Demographics. Source: Pakistan Health Ministry|
Are there other tools such as compulsory face masks which can preserve both lives and livelihoods? In a recently published paper tiled "The Benefits and Costs of Social Distancing in Rich and PoorCountries", Yale researchers support universal mask adoption and increased hygiene measures as a alternatives to social distancing and complete lockdown.
What will be the impact of coronavirus lockdown on global economy? European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borell has said "Analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes," he said. "If the 21st century turns out to be an Asian century, as the 20th was an American one, the pandemic may well be remembered as the turning point of this process."
Does it impinge on civil liberties of the people? Could such lockdowns cause various physical and mental illnesses leading to deaths and high rates of suicides?
Despardes with Faraz Darvesh host discusses these questions with Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq.
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