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Publications

Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? – MDPI

Abstract
The present coronavirus crisis caused a major worldwide disruption which has not been experienced for decades. The lockdown-based crisis management was implemented by nearly all the countries, and studies confirming lockdown effectiveness can be found alongside the studies questioning it. In this work, we performed a narrative review of the works studying the above effectiveness, as well as the historic experience of previous pandemics and risk-benefit analysis based on the connection of health and wealth. Our aim was to learn lessons and analyze ways to improve the management of similar events in the future. The comparative analysis of different countries showed that the assumption of lockdowns’ effectiveness cannot be supported by evidence—neither regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, nor regarding the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu and other less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: by using the known connection between health and wealth, we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown for either COVID-19 or any future pandemic.

Conclusions
While our understanding of viral transmission mechanisms leads to the assumption that lockdowns may be an effective pandemic management tool, this assumption cannot be supported by the evidence-based analysis of the present COVID-19 pandemic, as well as of the 1918–1920 H1N1 influenza type-A pandemic (the Spanish Flu) and numerous less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: we estimate that, even if somewhat effective in preventing death caused by infection, lockdowns may claim 20 times more life than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown in the future.

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/15/9295/htm

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Alternative Media Videos

Big Money, Creepy Technology & Cash Friday – The Solari Report

Investigative journalist Whitney Webb joins [Catherine Austin Fitts] to discuss her latest excellent exposés of the high-tech push for central control.

https://home.solari.com/special-solari-report-big-money-creepy-technology-cashfriday-with-whitney-webb/

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News

Exercise Cygnus: UK Government Exercise Justifies Covid-19 Lockdown – UK Column

Following the publication of the 2011 preparedness paper, however, the number of ICU beds continued to fall. Then, five years later, government held an unusual and secretive event called Exercise Cygnus.

It involved all government departments, all local authorities, and the NHS, right across the UK. Its report has not been published for “national security reasons” and so as not to “frighten the public”. However, according to those with first-hand knowledge of the operation, Cygnus’ script contained a scenario of a patent lack of capacity in ICU beds and personal protective equipment.

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/exercise-cygnus-uk-government-exercise-justifies-covid-19-lockdown

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Opinion Publications

Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science – BMJ

Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

The UK’s pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency.2 The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE, while exposing under-representation from public health, clinical care, women, and ethnic minorities. Indeed, the government was also recently ordered to release a 2016 report on deficiencies in pandemic preparedness, Operation Cygnus, following a verdict from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

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Publications

A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes – The Lancet

Lockdowns may reduce the peak of transmission and recovery rates but not the number of critical cases or overall mortality.

Lastly, government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.

…full lockdowns and early border closures may lessen the peak of transmission, and thus prevent health system overcapacity, which would facilitate increased recovery rates.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30208-X/fulltext

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Publications

A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes – The Lancet

Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with higher obesity (adjusted rate ratio [RR]=1.06; 95%CI: 1.01–1.11), median population age (RR=1.10; 95%CI: 1.05–1.15) and longer time to border closures from the first reported case (RR=1.04; 95%CI: 1.01–1.08). Increased mortality per million was significantly associated with higher obesity prevalence (RR=1.12; 95%CI: 1.06–1.19) and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) (RR=1.03; 95%CI: 1.00–1.06). Reduced income dispersion reduced mortality (RR=0.88; 95%CI: 0.83–0.93) and the number of critical cases (RR=0.92; 95% CI: 0.87–0.97). Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people. However, full lockdowns (RR=2.47: 95%CI: 1.08–5.64) and reduced country vulnerability to biological threats (i.e. high scores on the global health security scale for risk environment) (RR=1.55; 95%CI: 1.13–2.12) were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30208-X/fulltext

Categories
Publications

COVID-19 STRATEGIC PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PROGRAM AND PROPOSED 25 PROJECTS UNDER PHASE 1 – The World Bank

The World Bank’s COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP) was set to run from 2020 – 2025.

On March 3, 2020, the Board of Executive Directors endorsed the World Bank Group (WBG) to take urgent action supporting client countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/993371585947965984/pdf/World-COVID-19-Strategic-Preparedness-and-Response-Project.pdf