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Lancet: 19 countries have suppressed community transmission of coronavirus

A new report published by The Lancet shows 19 countries, including Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Pakistan, Finland, Cuba, and Rwanda have effectively suppressed the community transmission of the new coronavirus. The Philippines, Sweden, India, Switzerland, Germany, and 30 other states are categorized under “moderate transmission”.

The report, which will be presented to the 75th session of the US General Assembly, also summarizes the four main challenges brought about by the pandemic: (1) the suppression of the coronavirus, (2) overcoming the humanitarian crises brought about by the pandemic, (3) restructuring public and private finances, (4) and rebuilding the world economy so that it aligns to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Editor’s Note: One of the highlights of this report is this: it has indirectly admitted that it is possible to suppress the coronavirus without the use of vaccines (as evidenced by the 19 that has done it successfully). It also shows us that the coronavirus can be controlled, if appropriate policies that safeguard vulnerable populations are imposed. One-size-fits-all approaches do not work, and countries must learn to look at the experience of other countries, as well as listen to the experts.

One may think that the success of the 19 countries is due to lockdowns. This is untrue, as a closer look at the data provided by the report shows no correlation between the country’s chosen COVID intervention vis-a-vis transmission level. For example, Sweden and Belarus, two countries with no lockdowns, are listed under “moderate transmission” along side Germany, UK, and Italy which implemented hard lockdowns. This essentially means that the spread of the coronavirus could have been controlled without economic suicide.

It is however, important to note that there are many inconsistencies to the Lancet article. For example, after showing that majority of countries have little to no community transmission, it continues to say that vaccines are still necessary. Moreover, Lancet’s framework is limited as it only considers lockdowns and vaccines as solutions to the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, it places too much focus on infection rates which mean nothing in terms of the impact of the virus to health. If it looked at death rates, and hospitalization, the Lancet will have discovered that most countries already have the outbreak in control [read to learn more No Need To Panic Over Infection Numbers: Deaths Continue To Decrease, Vaccines: Trojan Horses for Global Sterilization and Surveillance].

This is a reminder that when we read articles, we must exercise our capacity for critical thinking in order to catch inconsistencies such as this. Simply reading summaries or conclusions and deciding on the basis of such can lead to massive problems.

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