Calling for an end to such policy as a future pandemic plan, a research paper has claimed that lockdowns enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic had only minimal impact in cutting down deaths compared to other forms of restrictions.
The conclusion was arrived at after studying the effects of different COVID-19 measures across the countries.
The analysis was done by the experts from Johns Hopkins University in US, Lund University in Sweden and the Centre for Political Studies in Denmark, UK newspaper The Telegraph reported.
The researchers claimed to have found that lockdown measures “may have increased deaths” by stopping access to outdoor space.
“We do find some evidence that limiting gatherings was counterproductive and increased COVID-19 mortality,” the authors said in the study.
“Often, lockdowns have limited people’s access to safe outdoor places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe indoor places.”
However, the team found that there were some other measures which did in fact save lives.
Closing non-essential businesses—especially pubs and bars—was estimated to have lowered mortality by about 10.6 per cent.
Shutting schools lowered deaths by 4.4 per cent, while asking people to stay at home prevented 2.9 per cent of deaths and border controls roughly 0.1 per cent.
In comparison, the legally enforced lockdowns prevented only 0.2 per cent deaths, the research said.
“Lockdowns during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, rising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence and undermining liberal democracy,” the experts said,
“These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument,” they concluded. wions