Of a global population of 7.8 billion the pandemic has resulted in an estimated 5 million deaths worldwide with a fatality rate of 3.4%. To gain perspective, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, cancer is the second with almost 10 million and 5 million people die of stroke annually. The numerous complex factors in deciding how best to manage the pandemic has led to uncertainty, fear and anxiety with anger directed at governments. After two years, statistics are showing some surprising results. We are repeatedly told that governments are guided by the science and their medical advisors, as they ponder the options let us hope they will give equal value to the statistics which raise many questions.
CONFIRMED GLOBAL CASES
- SYRIA with 1.8 million refugees living in tented camps has a total population of 17.5 million with 49,806 covid cases and 2,850 deaths. Only 4.4% of the population are vaccinated. (There were 55 new cases reported 20th December 2021 compared with 91,734 in the UK.)
- AFGHANISTAN population 40,20,656 million. Total confirmed covid cases of 158,000 with 7,335 deaths. Only 9.2% are fully vaccinated.
- YEMEN population 29.83 million. Total confirmed covid cases of 10,102 with 1,977 reported deaths. Only 1.2% of the population are vaccinated.
AFRICA a continent of 54 countries and 1.3 billion people has seen 9,205,000 confirmed covid cases with 226,000 deaths. According to the World Health Organization only 7.5% of the continent’s population, are fully vaccinated. In the early days of the pandemic it was suggested that the impact on African countries could be “catastrophic” because of the “inadequate healthcare systems and personnel”. Others said that even if restrictions were imposed, the number of people infected in many African countries could be between two-fifths to a quarter of the population in the first 12 months. In fact this did not occur. Africa has had fewer deaths than the UK, which has a population about a 20th of the size.
November 22, 2021, by country. Nigeria has the highest population with over 213 million people and only 2,974 deaths, 97.15% remain unvaccinated. South Africa with a population of 59.31 million is the most affected African country with 3.32 million confirmed covid cases and 90,453 deaths at December 2021. The WHO state 26.3% of the population of South Africa are vaccinated.
KEY POINTS ON LOCKDOWN: Quotes:
‘An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions driven by theoretical models that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have at best had a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 cases.’
‘The pandemic has dominated not only the daily lives of ordinary people, but also the economic reality within which most businesses have been forced to operate. Lockdowns and the reactions to them, have had consequences for consumer demands, supply chains, profitability, and the redistribution of wealth. The average citizen and business person has had to trust that such a blunt and destructive policy tool was justified in the face of a novel viral pandemic.’
- Comparing weekly mortality in 24 European countries, the findings in this paper suggest that more severe lockdown policies have not been associated with lower mortality rates.
- Over 20 studies find that mandated lockdowns have only marginal effects and that lockdown jurisdictions were not able to prevent non-compliance. Voluntary changes in behaviour explain large parts of the changes in cases, transmissions, and deaths.
- It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history
THE IMF ESTIMATES GLOBAL COVID COSTS AT $28 TRILLION IN LOST OUTPUT ALONE.