Avoid closures and lockdowns, says Maharashtra farmers’ political wing 

The Swatantra Bharat Party (SBP), the political wing of the Shetkari Sanghatana, has expressed concern that the Center is considering border closures and lockdowns to deal with the threat posed by the re-emergence of the Covid menace.

SBP President Anil Ghanwat called for an immediate review of the Government’s response to Covid-19 and the re-imposition of mandatory provisions such as lockdowns in the future.

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Swedish example

Analysis by SBP adviser Sanjeev Sabhlok, an economist and former IAS officer, suggests that the harms of India’s lockdowns have outweighed any benefits a thousand times over. “More damaging is an analysis using the OxCGRT database (Oxford University) of worldwide Covid deaths. The analysis shows that Covid deaths have increased in countries that imposed strict lockdowns. As expected, Sweden has the fewest Covid (and non-Covid) deaths It has been one of the only countries to abandon lockdowns as required by public health literature standards before 2020,” the SBP statement added.

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Ghanwat said: “Our party has strongly opposed the lockdowns from day one, which have caused unimaginable harm to India’s poor and children. A risk-based approach is needed that minimizes harm to health from all causes. Current approaches are causing huge harm to many people, while supposedly protecting a few.”

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