Should governments continue lockdown to slow the spread of covid-19? Until we have a meaningful alternative, lockdown is the only thing we can do to prevent further catastrophic spread of the virus, says Edward R Melnick.
But John PA Ioannidis argues that any benefits of lockdown depend on its effectiveness and the covid-19 burden—and that the harms are multifarious.
June 8, 2020 - Stefan Homburg, Christof Kuhbandner
Flaxman et al. (Nature, 8 June 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2405-7, 2020) infer that non-pharmaceutical interventions conducted by several European countries considerably reduced effective reproduction numbers and saved millions of lives. We show that their method is ill-conceived and that the alleged effects are artefacts. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom?s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.
June 8, 2020
Seth Flaxman, Swapnil Mishra, Axel Gandy, H. Juliette T. Unwin, Thomas A. Mellan, Helen Coupland, Charles Whittaker, Harrison Zhu, Tresnia Berah, Jeffrey W. Eaton, Mélodie Monod, Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, Azra C. Ghani, Christl A. Donnelly, Steven M. Riley, Michaela A. C. Vollmer, Neil M. Ferguson, Lucy C. Okell & Samir Bhatt