The economy and health go Hand-in-Hand
While the Coronavirus pandemic, the global economy is experiencing strong cuts. In many people the impression that the measures for the protection of public health are in direct conflict with the economic interests arose. The joint study of a medical and an economic Institution showed that the containment measures are intended not only for the protection of the health, but also the protection of the economy.
The Helmholtz centre for infection research (HZI) and the Leibniz-Institute for economic research at the University of Munich e. V. (ifo) showed, in a common research work, that with a quick loosening, not necessarily accompanied by a rapid recovery of the economy. The measures are driven down too fast, could be the damage and the Recovery time is much greater than in the case of a “prudent, gradual opening process”. The research work is on the website of the ifo can be viewed.
Economic Institute warns of fast relaxations
“The strategy is prudent, step-wise relaxations are not only health policy, but also economically preferable,” said ifo President Clemens Fuest, and Michael Meyer-Hermann, head of the Department of System immunology at the HZI. In a jointly created simulation analysis, the two institutions showed that in the short term, increased economic activity is likely to lead to a total renewal of the restrictions. The total cost of the crisis would increase this.
Fast-easing = fast recovery?
The first-time shoulder-to-shoulder between an economic and a medical Institute contradicts the widely-held view that the imposed mitigation measures damage the economy. “Not true, that is a very quick easing creates economic Benefits and, therefore, a conflict to health policy objectives arises,” explained the research Director. The analysis showed that, in the interests of health and economy are in opposite directions, but together.
300 new infections a day are doable
The researchers estimate that around 300 COVID-19-new infections per day can be tracked by the health authorities back. While the expansion of test capacity and more staff for the collection could be prevented in this way, chains of Infection, without significant contact restrictions.
Economic damages are linked to the reproduction number
The research team designed a model that the economic damage in connection with the reproduction number of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The reproduction number (R) specifies, how many people an infected Person infects. In the case of R=1.0, a diseased Person is infectious in the course of the disease further, in the case of R=2.0 in two more.
The Golden mean to calculate
20. April 2020 R could be on 0,627 reduced. The researchers calculated that it would come in the course of the years 2020 and 2021 to a total loss of around 333 billion euros, if this contagion is to get the number upright. In the case of slight relaxations, in the case where R commutes to 0.75, could be reduced in the loss of about 26 billion euros.
In case of further relaxations on up to R=0.9 no would be significant changes for the better for the economy, the total deaths in connection with COVID-19, however, would increase the model says. R increases above 1.0, this is connected according to the study, both with a higher level of economic damage, as well as more deaths. Starting at R=1.0 is expected with an additional 20,000 deaths by the end of 2021.
Damage to strong measures of economic
The model also showed that strong limitations greater cost the economy. The reproduction is pressed number of measures to 0.5, would increase the economic damage of 77 billion euros.
The Golden mean seems to lie at R=0,75
The study shows for the first time that health and economic interests are in opposite directions, but go Hand in Hand. While light lead loose to less economic damage, are extensive repeals the measures in the view of the researchers, neither to health nor to recommend it from an economic point of view. The Golden middle ground between health and the economy seems to be at R=0,75.
Limitations of the study
The virologist Professor Dr. Christian Drosten commented on the Podcast, the study, in its NDR-Coronavirus. He cautioned, however, that in the model many assumptions were made, which represent coarsened the reality. This was due to lack of empirical data and experience from the fields of economy not otherwise possible.
Drosten and the authors of the study acknowledge that the value of R=needs votes to 0.75 exactly. Nevertheless, the study show clearly that the economy and health should not be opposed, but considered together and that the objectives for the control of SARS-CoV-2 are both economic as well as health and political interest. (vb)