PETALING JAYA: Restrictions around the world to curb the spread of Covid-19 can only stop when a vaccine against the disease is found, according to a new study on China’s experience.
The Guardian reported that, while China’s aggressive controls over daily life ended the first wave of Covid-19, the danger of a second wave was very real.
The study was published in the medical research journal The Lancet.
“Although these controls appear to have reduced the number of infections to very low levels, without collective immunity from Covid-19, the cases could easily resurface as businesses, factory operations and schools gradually resume and increase social mix, especially given the growing risk of cases imported from overseas while Covid-19 continues to spread worldwide, “said Professor Joseph T Wu of the University from Hong Kong, who co-led the research.
The study said that although China has pushed the reproductive number or RO from two to three below one, that number could increase again if normal life were allowed to resume too quickly.
RO represents the number of people infected by an infected person.
“Although control policies such as physical alienation and behavior change are likely to be maintained for some time, finding a proactive balance between resuming economic activities and keeping the reproductive number below one is probably the best strategy until effective vaccines are widely available, “Wu was quoted as saying.
The study, based on modeling the epidemic in China, shows that the death rate in mainland China was much lower, at less than 1%, compared to Hubei province, in particular, at almost 6% .
It also varied according to the economic prosperity of each province, linked to the health care available.
“Even in the most prosperous and resource-rich megacities like Beijing and Shanghai, health care resources are limited and services will find it difficult to cope with a sudden increase in demand.
“Our results underscore the importance of ensuring that local health systems have adequate staff and resources to minimize deaths related to Covid,” said Professor Gabriel M Leung, lead author of the University of Hong Kong.
Research has indicated that allowing the rate of infections to rise again “would likely result in slightly higher health and economic losses”, even if severe measures were put in place to decrease the number of cases.
As of March 18, Malaysia imposed a motion control order (MCO) on those responsible for staying at home and travel is severely restricted, only “essential” services being allowed to operate.
The first phase of the MCO was scheduled to end on March 31, but was extended until April 14.
Bernama said the government will announce the extension of the AGC on Friday April 10.
According to data published by the National Security Council, there are currently 20 red areas in Peninsular Malaysia, Selangor being the state with the highest number with 1,020 patients positive for Covid-19 and the reddest areas, which are areas with more than 40 Covid -19 cases.
As of Wednesday, April 8, a total of 4,119 cases of Covid-19 had been detected in the country, with 65 deaths reported.