Covid: Lockdown ‘does NOT do more harm than good’, finds BMJ analysis
According to researchers, LOCKDOWNS will “cause less likely damage than the pandemic itself”.
Public health scientists, who wrote in the journal BMJ Global Health, challenged lockdown skeptics’ claim that the “cure is worse than the disease”, arguing that no country that imposed lockdowns and also Covid cases are low held, recorded excessive mortality, “what we would do”. expect if lockdowns independently caused large numbers of short-term deaths.
The analysis, conducted by researchers from Australia, Denmark and the US, comes amid warnings that the lifting of restrictions across the UK – especially England – will lead to a surge in infections, while the NHS is also balancing record waiting lists for treatment during the pandemic.
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The authors note that New Zealand and Australia, which had put strict border controls in place at the beginning of the pandemic and suppressed outbreaks in the community with a series of brief local lockdowns, “did not experience excessive mortality in 2020”.
The World Mortality Dataset – a comprehensive breakdown of annual deaths from all causes by country – shows that Covid restrictions “can lower the annual mortality rate by 3–6% just by eliminating influenza transmission,” with data from Peru showing that lockdowns also tend to reduce cars’ short term fatal accidents.
In contrast, countries such as Brazil, Sweden, Russia and some parts of the US that imposed few Covid restrictions “had large numbers of excess deaths during the pandemic”.
They note that in Manaus, Brazil – which was devoured by the P1 variant – “the spread of Covid-19 was largely unchecked and by March 15, 2021 more than 10% of the total population over the age of 85 was on Covid-19 had died “.
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However, the authors note that the UK has seen both prolonged lockdowns and high deaths.
You write: “Comparing, for example, Great Britain and Sweden does not show a clear advantage of bans in terms of excess mortality (the United Kingdom has three national bans, but both countries have had very serious effects) …[but] It is clear that locations that were closed without major Covid-19 epidemics (e.g. Australia, New Zealand) did not have a large number of deaths. ”
The UK has been repeatedly criticized for “leaking” border controls, its slow lockdown and failures in testing, tracking and isolation regimes.
Scotland has recorded more than 8,500 additional deaths since early 2020.
The authors acknowledge that while there is “plenty of evidence that mental health has deteriorated,” it is “extremely difficult” to link this directly to lockdown measures as opposed to the pressures, including the stress, of the pandemic itself through bereavement and fears about personal risk of infection.
They add that “there is consistent and robust evidence from many countries that government interventions to control Covid-19 have not been linked to an increase in suicide deaths”.
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Nor does evidence “reliably or consistently” support the claim that lockdowns – unlike major Covid outbreaks – limit access to health services.
They write: “There is clearly a link between major Covid-19 outbreaks, government intervention and a reduction in attendance at vital non-Covid health services, and therefore the link between bans and missed contacts with health systems is very well established.”
“However, this association may be related to a lack of capacity in health services or the impact of the pandemic itself.”
The authors acknowledge fear that missed cancer screenings could lead to excessive cancer deaths in the future, but warn that while lockdowns “could discourage people from going for routine checkups”, they also warn that “overworked health services or a perceived high risk of infection in health care facilities could be too high “.