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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Is 'coronaphobia' more deadly than the coronavirus?

By RAMESH THAKUR, Emeritus Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

‘The guidance from the World Health Organization on non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) was published last October based on the “latest scientific literature.” Border screenings and closures, internal travel restrictions, quarantine of exposed individuals and contact tracing were explicitly “not recommended in any circumstances.” ‘

‘The pandemic was initially declared with little existing science based knowledge of its emergence, growth, curve and retreat. Panicked governments imposed hard lockdowns in a cascading rush, forcing people to live virtually in a state of terror. …’

Does this remind you as Victoria’s ‘Lockdown’, gentle readers?

Here are Ramesh Thakur’s summary of what works.

‘First, put in place strong international border checks with prepositioned and pre-approved equipment and procedures for screening passenger traffic at air and sea ports on short notice. Design institutions and procedures that can be activated swiftly and efficiently.

‘Second, isolate and quarantine the sick. For the first time in history, countries have bizarrely chosen to put entire healthy populations under house arrest. In the United States, more people have died from suicide and drug overdoses than COVID-19 …’

‘Third, protect the vulnerable with adequate stocks of protective, preventive and therapeutic equipment, and supplies for front-line health workers and the seriously ill patients, a surge capacity to break the bottlenecks when necessary, and the right balance between national manufacturing capacity and diversified global supply lines.’

‘Fourth, monitor hospitalization and ICU occupancy to stop the health system from capsizing. If infections rise, but hospitalizations and deaths fall, as is happening in Europe, resistance has spread in the general population.

‘Fifth, treat people as adults. Give them the scientific guidance on hygiene and social distancing. Transfer the burden of risk back to individuals for assessing the dangers to themselves and the appropriate preventive measures and practices.”

‘Finally, ignore the modelers. Their credibility has been shredded.’

Read the full article here, with the author’s approval.

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