Around 1.4 million people are expected to die from untreated TB infections due to the coronavirus lockdown, according to research published by Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University.
“Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown,” reports the Guardian.
The figures are based on the premise of a 3 month lockdown and a 10-month period of restoring services after lockdown is lifted.
Lucica Ditiu, head of a global partnership to end tuberculosis, said she was “sickened” by the revelation and that the situation would set back global efforts to end TB by eight years.
“The fact that we’ve rolled back to 2013 figures and we have so many people dying, this for me is sickening,” said Ditiu. “I am outraged that just by not being able to control what we do … and forgetting about programmes that exist we lose so much, starting with the loss of the lives of people.”
Concentrating on finding a vaccine for COVID-19 will also delay efforts to find an adult vaccine for TB, which kills 1.5 million people a year, more than any other infectious disease. Coronavirus has claimed the lives of 275,000 people globally so far.
As we previously highlighted, a data analyst consortium in South Africa found that the economic consequences of the country’s lockdown will lead to 29 times more people dying than the coronavirus itself.
Professor Richard Sullivan also warned that there will be more excess cancer deaths in the UK than total coronavirus deaths due to people’s access to screenings and treatment being restricted as a result of the lockdown.
His comments were echoed by Peter Nilsson, a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University, who said, “It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined.”
This once again begs the question, if the lockdowns were supposed to save lives and yet will end up costing even more lives in other areas – what was the point?