供稿者：看看新闻（编辑 赵歆 郝苗苗）
The second wave of epidemics in Europe, is it useful to "close cities" in many countries?
PhD supervisor of the School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Executive Director of SJTU-Yale Joint Center for Health Policy
As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on October 31, local time, that England will begin the second comprehensive blockade of nearly a month starting on November 5, major European countries have basically adopted measures to "lockdown" to deal with the intensifying second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. Different from most European countries' "closure of cities" measures in severely affected areas, countries such as France, Germany, Belgium and other countries have implemented measures to "close the country" for a period of about one month.
The fact that Europe will be fully plunged into the second wave of COVID-19 has not completely exceeded expectations. During the first wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, countries adopted strict prevention and control measures such as "lockdown", and after mid-late May, the COVID-19 epidemic in all countries was alleviated to a greater extent than before "lockdown". For example, on May 25, there were 31 new cases in France, 289 in Germany, and 286 in Spain. However, as the outbreak of COVID-19 has eased in European countries, governments of all countries have relaxed the "lockdown" measures of the epidemic, and collective activities gathered by various groups of people have gradually returned to normal. For example, the football leagues of European countries were restarted at the end of May or early June, and even the transnational European Champions Cup matches were resumed.
When European countries generally restart economic and social operations, the COVID-19 epidemic has been largely alleviated, but not completely under control. With the restart of the economy and the increase in cross-regional flows, especially as the spread of the virus has become active again after the advent of autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere due to lower temperatures, the epidemics in European countries have rebounded to a greater extent since mid-to-late August. However, in the face of the second wave of the epidemic rebound, governments of various countries generally did not pay much attention to it for a long period of time and did not adopt more stringent prevention and control measures. Furthermore, the COVID-19 epidemic has shown a major outbreak in Europe and governments of various countries have been forced to "lockdown" again.
The public generally agreed and recognized the measures taken by European governments during the first wave of COVID-19 outbreaks to "lockdown". However, in the face of the second "lockdown" by governments of various countries, there have been large-scale demonstrations and protests in many European countries, and even confrontations with government armed forces have appeared. I think the most important reason for the public's dissatisfaction with the government lies in the disappointment of the governments of various countries in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. The public can forgive the government's failure to prevent and control the first wave of COVID-19, but if it fails to prevent and control the second wave, the public will inevitably be disappointed and angry with the government. In fact, governments of all countries are trying to find a balance between the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and the recovery of the economy. With the decrease in pressure on epidemic prevention and control, governments of various countries have resumed work and production more hastily.
However, from the experience of epidemic prevention and control in countries around the world, there should be no balance between the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and the resumption of work and production. The lesson that COVID-19 in the United States has been in the first wave of major outbreaks should be enough to make European countries vigilant. Only under the premise of complete control of the COVID-19 epidemic, can work and production resume; otherwise, the COVID-19 epidemic will surely rebound, and the resumption of strict prevention and control measures when the epidemic rebounds will inevitably cause public disappointment in the government.
The second wave of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe, the re-lockdown and the public protests of the re-lockdown in various countries should be completely predictable. As for whether European countries can “lockdown” again to curb the outbreak, the answer is obvious. Although group activities such as public demonstrations and demonstrations will inevitably offset some of the suppression effects, as long as governments of various countries strictly implement the "lockdown" measures, the COVID-19 epidemic will certainly be suppressed to a greater extent.
The established experience in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in countries around the world has revealed that "lockdown" is the most effective measure to deal with the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. For the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in European countries, in addition to "lockdown", it should also require a series of necessary supporting strategies. Under the premise of “lockdown”, carrying out large-scale population nucleic acid testing and adopting necessary measures such as compulsory isolation of close contacts of confirmed patients will not only significantly improve the effectiveness of epidemic prevention and control, but also shorten the duration of “lockdown”. At the same time, compared to the "lockdown", nucleic acid testing for large areas of the population and isolation measures for close contacts are, for the public, an "active" and "active" prevention and control measure for the government to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is easier to gain public trust and support.
To sum up, the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Europe and the "lockdown" measures taken by all governments are significantly related to the improper handling of the relationship between COVID-19 prevention and control and economic recovery by all governments. The measures taken by European countries to "lockdown" must have a greater degree of restraint effect on the COVID-19 epidemic. At the same time, the "lockdown" strategy of various countries should be further improved. Some European countries, for example, still do not have closed schools or other places for crowds to gather. In addition to simply "lockdown", supporting measures such as large-scale nucleic acid testing should be taken simultaneously to eliminate COVID-19 as soon as possible and once and for all.
Contributor: Knews (edited by ZHAO Xin and HAO Miaomiao)
Date: November 2, 2020