Part 1 : an unpredictable epidemic but a return to full lockdown unlikely
Nearly nine months after COVID-19 first appeared in China, the pandemic is still spreading. However, the global situation is masking disparities across continents. The emergence from lockdown is bringing with it a resurgence of the pandemic in Europe, and the pandemic is progressing in Asia, especially in India. Meanwhile, Europe is facing a second wave while Africa and Oceania remain relatively unscathed.
Although each continent’s pandemic experience has been very different, lockdown measures have been relaxed almost everywhere. Some restrictions have been tightened in the United States and Europe, but the measures are now targeted and localised. As long as the disconnection between the number of new cases and deaths continues and the pressure on the hospital system is not too strong, a return to massive lockdown in Europe seems unlikely.
This approach is all the more likely given that progress on the vaccine front is faster than expected. Several candidates have already entered the final phase of pre-marketing clinical trials, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has paved the way for fast-track approval before the end of the trials. US and European pharmaceutical companies are gearing up for significant production volumes next year.
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The opinion expressed above is dated September 2020 and is liable to change. Latest available data is used.
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