Lockdowns saved just 10,000 lives in Europe and US combined

Updated John Hopkins study finds draconian measures had 'little to no effect' on Covid death rate

Image Credits: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images.

The first Covid lockdowns saved 10,000 lives in Europe and US and had ‘little or no effect’ on the virus death rate, updated analysis suggests.

A review by an international team of economists found draconian shutdowns only reduced Covid mortality by 3 per cent in the UK, US and Europe in 2020.

The experts, from Johns Hopkins University in the US, Lund University in Sweden and the Danish think-tank the Center for Political Studies, said that equates to 6,000 fewer deaths in Europe and 4,000 fewer in the US.

This marks a revision from the group’s first report last year, which found lockdowns cut Covid deaths by just 0.2 per cent. The team said the updated figure is down to changes in their calculations and new studies.

But they still conclude: ‘Stricter lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the Covid pandemic.’

MailOnline was one of only three major British media outlets to cover the initial findings when they were released back in January. Experts at the time claimed it was unsurprising that some left-wing publications avoided the story because they wanted to ‘maintain fear around the pandemic’.

Their 3.2 per cent figure is the average effect of all lockdown measures combined. When looking at stay-at-home orders specifically, the team estimate this had even less of an impact, reducing the death toll by just 2 per cent.  

Their report does not look at the effect of lockdowns excess deaths, which includes people who died from other causes because hospitals were shut, for example.

It did find mask wearing to be the most effective intervention, leading to a 18.7 per cent drop in virus fatalities — however this result was based on just three studies.

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