Aug 29, 2021

Prolonged lockdown will save 7,500 - 10,000 lives : report

Extending lockdowns past August 31st is projected to reduce deaths from COVID-19, according to an independent technical expert committee appointed by the World Health Organization’s Sri Lanka office.

Saving 7,500 - 10,000 lives
The committee's latest report quotes the Monash University as saying that "if the lockdowns are extended to September 18 and October 2, respectively, 7,500 and 10,000 deaths can be prevented relative to a release of lockdown on August 31."

Among the key observations made at the meeting on Aug. 26 had noted that the COVID-19 death rate is one of the highest. According to stats of the WHO COVID-19 dashboard on 25 Aug 2021, Sri Lanka is at No. 11 in the list of countries with the highest number of deaths per 100,000 population.

Virus spreading in homes ; 90% of sequenced samples are Delta
Close to 90% of the samples sequenced show the Delta variant and has now spread to other provinces other than Western province, it adds.

The report states that the number of health workers exposed to the virus has increased rapidly. The expert committee reports that stocks of essential supplies, including oxygen, are also low.

The virus is also spreading in homes, the report said.
Economic impact

It has also been noted that "maintaining stringency to reduce transmission, caseload and deaths will enable quicker economic recovery."

The report has also presented an economic projection model developed by the Imperial College and portraying the economic impact. It is noted that the GDP estimate for 2020 is USD84bn according to the World Bank.
The model portrays the economic impact as a percentage of GDP as follows :
WhatsApp Image 2021 08 29 at 8.04.54 AM
Overall, global and local evidence indicates that economies bounce back quickly once stringencies are removed, it adds.
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Crucial enabling factors
Crucial enabling factors are briefed down to health and care measures to save lives, Preventing transmissions through measures including individual compliance and extending strict social measures.
In addition, the need to "strengthen social support system by engaging with temples and religious groups, NGOs, civil society etc (i.e. a national mobilization effort) to overcome needs of the lower income groups, led by the government" is also noted.

Click here for the full report