Repeated Intervals of Social Distancing Needed Till 2022: Harvard Study

Harvard study comes as the United States enters the peak of its coronavirus curve and states hope for easing of strict lockdown measures.

Washington| Harvard scientists have warned in an analysis that suggests there could be resurgences of COVID-19 for years to come and suggest that physical distancing measures may need to be in place intermittently until 2022.

The study comes as the United States enters the peak of its COVID-19 curve and states hope for easing of tough lockdown measures.

Published in the journal Science, the paper concludes that a one-time lockdown will not be adequate to bring the pandemic under control and that secondary peaks could be higher than the prevailing one without continued constraints.

In the lack of a vaccine or effective treatment, one scenario predicted a resurgence could occur as far in the future as 2025.

COVID-19 will become seasonal, like closely related coronaviruses that cause the common cold, with higher infection rates in colder months, assumed the Harvard team’s computer simulation.

“Infections increase when there are 2 subjects: infected people & susceptible people. Unless there is some enormously larger amount of herd immunity than we’re aware of … the majority of the population is still susceptible,” said Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard and co-author of the study.

Also Read: Over 1000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours, Total Rise to 11,438, With 377 Deaths

The professor added that predicting the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020 is not consistent with what we are aware of the spread of infections.

Lead author Stephen Kissler said in a call with reporters: “We found that one-time social distancing measures are likely to be insufficient to maintain the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 within the limits of critical care capacity in the US.”

According to the paper in Science, new treatments, a vaccine, or improving critical care capacity could alleviate the need for rigorous physical distancing, “But in the absence of these, surveillance and intermittent distancing may need to be maintained into 2022,” the Harvard authors conclude.

However, it is almost certain that the coronavirus is here to stay. It was highly unlikely that immunity will be strong enough and last long enough that novel coronavirus will die out after an initial wave, as was the case with the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003, the Harvard team said.

Dear Readers,
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporate houses. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to do honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so that we can continue to do the same in future.

Related posts