Coronavirus News Asia

Global virus lockdown was ‘madness’


It was called “lockdown madness.” But the line was not coined on some obscure conspiracy-mongering website. And, no, it was not part of a rant from US President Donald Trump.

Instead, “Lockdown Wahn” (lockdown madness or insanity) is the term first used by Stefan Homburg, the professor of public finance at Leibniz University in the German city of Hannover. His interview with famed YouTube channel moderator Milena Preradovic on April 17 went viral.

Homburg’s point, since repeated on numerous occasions and included in a debate in Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, was simple and based on a now-famous graphic produced by the Robert Koch Institut. For those unfamiliar with the RKI, it is a German government agency responsible for disease control and prevention, or the equivalent of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

The principal line graph, below, represents the “reproduction number,” also known as “Ro or “R naught,” of an infectious disease. This is the number of cases, on average, an infected person will cause during their infectious period.

What the RKI’s Ro graph (just R in German) shows is that by March 23 when the government ordered its harshest set of lockdown measures, the reproduction figure was already below 1, meaning that the number of new infections was on the decline. Not only that, Ro in the following weeks, while staying below zero, did not decline further. So, as the lockdown continued, it accomplished no additional reduction in new cases.

In the Preradovic interview, Prof Homburg called the lockdown “totally superfluous” and “incredibly harmful,” not only to the economy, but also to the psychological and physical well-being of uncountable individuals who were prevented from having lifesaving operations or were contemplating suicide.

Homburg further pointed out that the RKI released to the public irresponsibly high numbers of potential deaths from Covid-19 – “300,000 to 1.5 million.” At the time of the lockdown decision, it must have known, or should have known, that the figures were vastly exaggerated.

Since the Homburg interview and a follow-up one with Preradovic on April 24, it is now clear that his concerns were borne out. The latest Ro number published by the RKI on April 30 was 0.75, meaning the number of new infections over any given reference period (four days) goes down by 25%.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *