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WHO warns against COVID-19 lockdowns due to economic damage

WHO warns against COVID-19 lockdowns due to economic damage

The World Health Organization has warned leaders against relying on COVID-19 lockdowns to tackle outbreaks — after previously saying countries should be careful how quickly they reopen.

WHO envoy Dr. David Nabarro said such restrictive measures should only be treated as a last resort, the British magazine the Spectator reported in a video interview.

“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said.

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”

Nabarro said tight restrictions cause significant harm, particularly on the global economy.

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.

He added that lockdowns have severely impacted countries that rely on tourism.

“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays,” Nabarro told the outlet.

VARNEY: WHY THE LOCKDOWN WARNING MATTERS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

“Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. 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.”

The UN agency previously warned countries against lifting lockdowns too soon during the first wave of the virus.

“The last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses, only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence,” said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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But Tedros had urged countries to bolster

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The lockdowns’ greater economic impact

The lockdowns’ greater economic impact

The differential impacts of the pandemic and its lockdowns are now unmistakable. Originally, the pandemic, lockdowns and recession so closely overlapped that it was possible to mistake cause for effect. Only as they have extended and altered, has the true relationship become distinguishable: The lockdowns’ have had the greater economic effect. 

Illusions rest on compelling simplicity. The coronavirus and recession relationship is no exception. Today’s pandemic is the greatest in 100 years, and the unexpected economic collapse is the greatest in over 90. Unquestionably joined, the two had to be cause and effect. 

As tempting as this circumstantial evidence is, there is a superficiality to this logic. After all, going to the theater did not kill Abraham Lincoln; being shot did.   

The current pandemic’s biggest canard is that coronavirus killed America’s economy. Such shorthand explanation leaves out the lockdowns’ decisive role. With sufficient time having elapsed, and the ebb and flow of pandemic and responses having occurred, it is possible — and important — to establish the real relationship.

On Jan. 21, America documented its first known coronavirus case. Cases then spread, likely to a greater extent than then known; however, lockdowns would not begin until March. During the pandemic’s pre-lockdown phase, the economy continued to function, with employment increasing in both January and February.  

Not until March’s lockdowns did the real economic impact occur. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll shed 1 million jobs (from 151.076 to 150.073 million). So great was the late impact that the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter fell a dramatic five percent. However, this was just a foretaste of lockdowns’ full impact.   

As lockdowns extended and tightened, employment plunged unprecedentedly. Employment in April fell almost another 20 million jobs (from 150.0073 to 130.317). This led the way for

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Strict COVID-19 lockdowns may speed up economic recovery: IMF

Strict COVID-19 lockdowns may speed up economic recovery: IMF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Early lockdowns in an epidemic can substantially reduce infections, and policymakers should be wary of lifting them to jumpstart their economies when infections remain high, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund logo is seen outside the headquarters building during the IMF/World Bank spring meeting in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas//File Photo

The COVID-19 pandemic showed that government lockdowns succeeded in lowering infections, the IMF wrote in a chapter of its forthcoming World Economic Outlook, but they also contributed to the recession and hit vulnerable groups such as women and young people particularly hard.

Voluntary social distancing driven by fears of contracting the disease also contributed heavily to the recession and was unlikely to recede if lockdowns were lifted while cases remained elevated, the researchers warned.

“Addressing the health risks appears to be a pre-condition to allow for a strong and sustained economic recovery,” wrote IMF economists Francesco Grigoli and Damiano Sandri in a blog post on the research.

“Lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” they wrote, adding that alternatives such as wearing face masks, expanded testing and contact tracing could have even lower economic costs.

The IMF research did not single out specific countries, but comes as infections are rising sharply in parts of the United States that moved to end lockdowns early amid pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who was determined to boost the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

India, second only to the United States in coronavirus infections, is also lifting most restrictions even as the pandemic rages.

The IMF said lockdowns needed to be sufficiently strict to curb infections, suggesting that “stringent and short-lived

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IMF economic outlook: Lifting lockdowns won’t help recovery until cases fall

IMF economic outlook: Lifting lockdowns won’t help recovery until cases fall

  • Reversing lockdown measures while cases remain elevated is unlikely to drive a robust economic recovery, the International Monetary Fund said in a Thursday blog post.
  • Researchers at the organization found that voluntary quarantining plays a substantial role in stifling a rebound as fears of contracting the coronavirus keeps consumers from boosting economic activity.
  • While lockdowns present some short-term costs, they “may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” the team wrote.
  • Addressing the health crisis “appears to be a pre-condition to allow for a strong and sustained economic recovery,” the IMF added.
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Ending lockdowns while coronavirus cases remain elevated is unlikely to accelerate economic growth and poses new dangers, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday.

Researchers at the organization found that although quarantine orders contributed to the second quarter’s historic drop in gross domestic product, relaxing such measures won’t yield a proportional rebound on its own. Fear of contracting the virus also kept consumers indoors and exacerbated the global recession. Lifting lockdowns can prove ineffective if heightened infection rates lead people to voluntarily quarantine, the IMF said. 

“Lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” researchers Francesco Grigoli and Damiano Sandri wrote in a blog post.

Read more: Buy these 7 stocks poised to profit from the boom in packaged-food sales as COVID-19 prompts more Americans to cook at home, Stifel says.

By analyzing Google mobility data and job postings across 128 countries, the IMF found that lockdowns and voluntary distancing contributed “substantially” to a drop in labor demand and activity. The hit driven by voluntary social distancing was larger in advanced economies where people could

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Strict COVID-19 Lockdowns May Speed up Economic Recovery: IMF | Investing News

Strict COVID-19 Lockdowns May Speed up Economic Recovery: IMF | Investing News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Early lockdowns in an epidemic can substantially reduce infections, and policymakers should be wary of lifting them to jumpstart their economies when infections remain high, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed that government lockdowns succeeded in lowering infections, the IMF wrote in a chapter of its forthcoming World Economic Outlook, but they also contributed to the recession and hit vulnerable groups such as women and young people particularly hard.

Voluntary social distancing driven by fears of contracting the disease also contributed heavily to the recession and was unlikely to recede if lockdowns were lifted while cases remained elevated, the researchers warned.

“Addressing the health risks appears to be a pre-condition to allow for a strong and sustained economic recovery,” wrote IMF economists Francesco Grigoli and Damiano Sandri in a blog post on the research.

“Lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing,” they wrote, adding that alternatives such as wearing face masks, expanded testing and contact tracing could have even lower economic costs.

The IMF research did not single out specific countries, but comes as infections are rising sharply in parts of the United States that moved to end lockdowns early amid pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who was determined to boost the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

India, second only to the United States in coronavirus infections, is also lifting most restrictions even as the pandemic rages.

The IMF said lockdowns needed to be sufficiently strict to curb infections, suggesting that “stringent and short-lived lockdowns could be preferable to mild and prolonged measures,” they wrote.

The crisis was hitting more vulnerable groups harder, they noted, with stay-at-home orders and school closures

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