Although certainly better than nothing, there are reasons to believe this partial lockdown – as designed by Duterte – will not be very effective in containing the disease.
Duterte’s partial lockdown also doesn’t provide any financial assistance for workers and businesses whose incomes and livelihoods will be wiped out by the resulting economic downturn.
‘Flattening the curve’
To contain COVID-19, epidemiologists around the world recommend “social distancing.”
This chiefly involves closing down schools, offices, malls and public places; banning mass gatherings; and encouraging or requiring people to go into home quarantine.
Social distancing works. Figure 1 shows that when done properly it spreads a viral outbreak over a longer period of time, but lowers the peak number of cases.
By “flattening the curve,” so to speak, we can prevent overwhelming our hospitals, exhausting frontline health workers like doctors and nurses, and preventing shortages of much-needed equipment like masks, gloves, and testing kits.
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