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Where are we now?

According to official figures, 16,509 people with Covid-19 have so far died in British hospitals. There are no official statistics for deaths in the community, but ONS (Office for National Statistics) data released today shows that of 6,200 Covid-19-related deaths in the week to 10 April, one in six of them happened outside hospital. We are on track for 40,000 deaths by just the end of the first wave of this outbreak, while also having to cope with the astronomical economic costs and heart-rending social implications of being in lockdown for weeks on end.

In this uncertainty, countries that are actively working to contain this virus and keep numbers as low as possible are buying time to build a more informed policy response while also protecting their economies and societies. Others, by letting the virus spread slowly through their populations (only flattening the curve instead of completely stopping the spread), are just gambling with people’s lives, and will be caught in cycles of lockdown/release that will destroy the economy and cause social unrest, as well as increased Covid-19- and non-Covid-19-related deaths.

Crunching the coronavirus curve is better than flattening it, as New Zealand is showing
The Guardian
Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh

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