An increasing number of countries around the world are closing borders and locking down cities to stem the spread of the coronavirus — but such measures are not “sustainable,” said an expert on infectious disease epidemiology.
Countries that implemented lockdowns — both full and partial — include the U.K., Italy, India and China. Others such as Singapore chose stricter social distancing measures such as shutting entertainment outlets, but kept schools open.
“The idea of a lockdown is really an emergency measure to bring the numbers down as quickly as possible, the number of new cases, but it’s not a sustainable way to keep the coronavirus out,” said Ben Cowling, a professor at The University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health.
“I think they’ll be in place for a few weeks and then once the numbers come down, they can switch to a more sustainable approach: Maybe doing more testing, and then when we find cases, isolating them, and also having some social distancing but not too extreme,” he told “Street Signs Asia.”
In the case of China, where economic activity is gradually resuming, Cowling said cases of the coronavirus could still rebound now that the number of imported cases has risen.