WHO official says lockdowns to double poverty, hunger by next year; urges end to quarantines
An envoy for the World Health Organization has told a British weekly that lockdowns are not favored by the organization as the primary means of controlling COVID-19 outbreaks, noting that the method may contribute to one of the largest one-year advances in poverty and hunger worldwide.
“Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition,” said WHO Director-General Dr. David Nabarro in an interview with the Spectator according to Yahoo News.
Nabarro said that instead, lockdowns should only be resorted to as an extreme measure to buy time during a crisis.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it,” Nabbaro added.
The advice comes as noted “infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists” have criticized lockdowns as counterproductive and called on governments to allow the vast majority of people to get back to normal.
“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold,” says the Great Barrington Declaration, released earlier this month.
The declaration was authored by 35 scientists and public health officials who have said that the lockdowns have been disastrous to society.
“The declaration is spearheaded by some heavy hitters in the scientific community including Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Harvard University, Sunetra Gupta, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Oxford University, and Jay Bhattacharya, MD, Ph.D., a public health policy expert who focuses on infectious diseases and who is a professor at Stanford University,” says the site Infection Control Today.
“Annie Janvier, Ph.D., one of the declaration’s cosigners and a pediatric and clinical ethics professor at the University of Montreal, said that ‘it’s not science that seems to be leading what’s going on with COVID, it’s public opinion and politics,’” added the site.
So far, the petition has gained 12,000 signatures, says the UK’s Daily Express.
Instead, people should go back to work, especially young people, says the declaration. Bars, restaurants and schools should as a way of fostering herd immunity that will eventually end the health crisis.
“Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity,” says the group.
PHOTO: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
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