Social distancing and lockdowns in Australia not only slowed the spread of COVID-19, they saved the lives of about 400 people who would have been expected to died in June from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, a research paper published on Monday showed.
Examining Australia’s most recent official fatality data, the Actuaries Institute said there was a shortfall between verified deaths and the number expected during the mid-winter month, which it concluded was due to a decline in respiratory illnesses.
“It is clear that lockdowns and other COVID-19 control measures have created great hardship for many in Australia. There will surely be medium and long-term consequences for physical and mental health and the economy,” said Jennifer Lang, Convenor of the Actuaries Institute’s COVID-19 Working Group.
“These measures have not only saved very many Australians from COVID-19 disease and death, they have also reduced deaths from a number of other causes.”
Australia in March shut large swathes of its economy, limited the number of people allowed to gather together and shut its international borders to slow the spread of the virus.
While the measures has taken a significant toll on the country’s economy, Australia has so far recorded just over 27,500 COVID-19 infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.
Australia’s economy shrank 7 percent in the three months to the end of June, the biggest quarterly shrinkage since records began in 1959. The unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5 percent in July as businesses and borders closed to deal with the coronavirus.
Coronavirus: Melbourne eases lockdown as COVID-19 cases declineAustralia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has loosened lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 cases continue to decline.For more ... Coronavirus
South Australia orders review after deaths of four newborns during pandemic lockdownFour newborns who needed emergency heart surgery died during the past month in a women’s hospital in South Australia, media outlets in the country ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: India reports over 45,000 COVID-19 cases but low death toll of 480India’s total coronavirus infections stood at 7.91 million on Monday, having risen by 45,148 cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data ... Coronavirus