Lockdown will ruin India's economy: Expert tells Rahul

Severe lockdown will ruin India's economy: Swedish expert tells Rahul Gandhi

"I think for India, you will ruin your economy very quickly if you have a severe lockdown," said Professor Johan Giesecke in an interaction with Rahul Gandhi

"I think for India, you will ruin your economy very quickly if you have a severe lockdown," said Professor Johan Giesecke in an interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (Youtube Screengrab)

India will ruin its economy very quickly if it continues a severe lockdown to combat COVID-19, Swedish epidemiologist Johan Giesecke said in an interaction with Rahul Gandhi.

Besides Giesecke, Rahul also interacted with Ashish Jha, Dean of the US-based Brown University School of Public Health, who told him that global pandemics are here to stay, given the change in eating habits of humans and climate change.

Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases, deaths on May 27

“You may even create more deaths by a severe lockdown than the disease will do,” Giesecke, Professor Emeritus, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, said adding none of the countries that announced a lockdown had planned for an exit strategy.

“Every single country had said that we'll do this lockdown, we'll close this school, we'll close this border, we'll close the restaurants. I don't think at that point they thought about how to get out of it. Now everyone is asking the same question, how do we get out of this,” Giesecke, who is also an advisor to the WHO, said

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For India, he suggested a graded re-emergence from the lockdown after assessing the impact of the relaxations from the stiff restrictions to arrest the spread of the disease.

Jha said the lockdown had helped slow down the spread of the virus in India, but that could not be a goal unto itself and the time should be used to create infrastructure for testing and convince people of how life is going to be different.

Jha said the world is entering into an “age of pandemics” and the COVID-19 outbreak is not the last global pandemic to be seen in the next 20 years.

He attributed globalisation, environmental changes, economic growth, deforestation, encroachment into areas where there are more animals as the reasons for emergence of new diseases.

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“I think climate change is going to make many of these things all the more worse and then of course, the other things that has happened with economic growth is that people are eating lot more meat and so that also means more interactions between humans and animals,” Jha said.

“Put all of it together. If you look at the last 100 years you’ll see increasing frequency of these kinds of outbreaks and this one of course is the worst in a 100 years but I am confident that we are going to have more global pandemics in the upcoming years and decades,” Jha said.

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