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Voice of the Times | Oct. 12, 2020

Voice of the Times | Oct. 12, 2020
#TheManilaTimes #VoiceOfTheTimes #VOTTFor today's World Health Organization suggests moving away from lockdowns in fighting Covid***THE authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which we highlighted in an editorial last Friday, entitled "IATF should read and heed message of 'Great Barrington Declaration,'" The Manila Times issue, dated October 10, form only the leading edge of a growing global and scientific consensus that an economic lockdown or quarantine is not the most sensible and effective approach to the challenge of controlling the coronavirus pandemic.Drs. Sunetra Gupta from the University of Oxford, Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford University and Martin Kulldorff from Harvard University were quickly joined by thousands of scientists and health professionals around the world in their "grave concern" over Covid-19 lockdown policies and their contention that a policy of focused protection of the vulnerable would be more effective.Even the World Health Organization or WHO has taken notice and is now uncertain about its earlier defense of the lockdown strategy and draconian restrictions.***The WHO's special envoy on Covid-19, Dr. David Nabarro, this week urged world leaders to stop "using lockdowns as their primary Covid control method."Dr. Nabarro told the UK's Spectator, "We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus. The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize; regroup; rebalance your resources [and] protect your health workers, who are exhausted; but by and large, we'd rather not do it."Nabarro went on to point out several of the negative consequences lockdowns have caused across the world, including devastating tourism industries and increased hunger and poverty."Just look at what's happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren't taking their holidays," he said. "Look what's happened to smallholder farmers all over the world...Look what's happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition."***Earlier this week, thousands of medical health experts worldwide signed their names to the Barrington petition, calling for the end of coronavirus lockdowns, citing the "irreparable damage" they have caused.All this meshes squarely with the key message of the document: "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short- and long-term public health."International opinion against the lockdown strategy is so pervasive that you can hardly find online these days a single study or article that still advocates the lockdown as a weapon against the virus.Of course, many governments will be slow to drop overnight the policies that have governed their response to the health crisis during the past seven months.The writing is on the