As England prepares to lock down again, it should look to the example set by east Asian and African nations

Just 10 days after calling a national lockdown “the height of absurdity”, the prime minister announced on Saturday evening a four-week national lockdown in England starting on Thursday 5 November and lasting until 2 December. In a reminder of March, people are being asked to “stay at home” unless for essential purposes, and to avoid meeting others indoors or in private gardens. Pubs, restaurants, fitness studios and gyms will also have to close while, in an important distinction from the first lockdown, schools, colleges and universities will remain open for in-person learning.

Even with these new measures in place, thousands of people will still die of Covid-19 in the weeks to come, given the lag in lockdown measures on transmission. The recent Imperial College React-1 study estimated that almost 100,000 people in England are being infected with the virus every day. The associated steep rise in hospital cases and deaths indicates that, without harsh measures, a second wave could be even more deadly than the first, and last longer.

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