World will require intermittent social distancing till 2022 to fight coronavirus, suggests Harvard study; says COVID-19 revival can't be ruled out

A Harvard study has said that the world would require repeated periods of social distancing till 2022 to reduce pressure on hospitals

FP Trending April 15, 2020 14:10:59 IST
World will require intermittent social distancing till 2022 to fight coronavirus, suggests Harvard study; says COVID-19 revival can't be ruled out

Several countries have been forced to extend their lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise. A Harvard study has said that the world would require repeated periods of social distancing till 2022 to reduce pressure on hospitals.

The study, modelled on COVID-19 ’s trajectory, was published in the journal Science.  Scientists prepared a computer simulation, assuming that infection caused due to novel coronavirus would become seasonal and its transmission would increase in the colder months.

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Representational image. Image by HenkieTenk from Pixabay.

However, the authors of the study say much about COVID-19 still remains unknown, including the level of immunity acquired by previous infection.

“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 United States,” news agency AFP reported quoting lead author Stephen Kissler.

He also said that intermittent social distancing periods are required in the view of the absence of treatment available for COVID-19 .

The study says that the duration and intensity of lockdowns can be eased once medicines or vaccines become available.

The scientists believed that ensuring social distancing at intermittent intervals would allow hospitals time to increase critical care capacity in the face of rising cases that may occur when the restrictions are eased.

Widespread viral testing would be needed to determine when social distancing should be again put in place.

The Harvard researchers claimed that it is almost certain that virus is here to stay and it will not die out after an initial wave.

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