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Economic modelling shows trying to eliminate COVID-19 may be our best approach

Modelling conducted by Dr Tony Blakely from the Population Interventions Unit at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, and his colleagues Dr Jason Thompson, and Dr Laxman Bablani on the health and economic impacts of how we deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria suggests that a strategy aimed at eliminating the virus from the community produces the least health losses and usually the fewest GDP losses.

The study compared the likely outcomes of policies of aggressive elimination (such as those of New Zealand and Victoria in 2020) and compared it with moderate elimination (such as those of New South Wales), tight suppression (such as South Korea and Singapore) and loose suppression (eg, the United Kingdom).

They found that an elimination strategy, where possible, was optimal in 2020. They say going forward, maintaining something like an elimination approach until herd immunity (or approaching it) is achieved through vaccination will most likely be optimal.

The study showed that while the world is ramping up vaccine rollouts, it will take time. It went on to highlight that This eaves populations vulnerable and future resurgences of infections, morbidity, and mortality likely. With this as the case an elimination strategy was estimated to be optimal in 2020 for countries that had the opportunity to pursue or maintain that approach.

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