Release: Immediate INTERNATIONAL | 17 December 2020
JOHANNESBURG, 17 December 2020: PANDA is publishing its Protocol for Reopening Society based on the principles of focused protection as described in the Great Barrington Declaration.
For decades, it has been acknowledged by the world’s premier health authorities that amid a pandemic, the functioning of society should be maintained, and human rights upheld. Governments and health organisations have at their disposal country-specific pandemic preparedness plans, as well as the World Health Organisation pandemic guidelines, which provide a roadmap outlining how to keep society functioning, while also mitigating the impact of a disease or virus.
In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 brought an almost–instantaneous rewriting of disease management principles as countries, with few exceptions, disregarded existing pandemic plans and replaced them with policies of ‘lockdown’.
There is no evidence that lockdowns have reduced mortality from Covid-19 and research is now revealing the devastation that lockdowns are causing, particularly in the developing world. In these draconian lockdown policies, we have also seen the biggest infringement on civil liberties in democratic countries during peacetime.
PANDA believes that, at this juncture, the science is quite clear on what key policy responses should be—or should have been. The cure should not be worse than the disease. It is critically important that societies are reopened, whilst protecting those who may be vulnerable to serious illness from SARS-CoV-2. Human agency must be upheld, and individuals should be empowered to make their own choices.
PANDA’s Protocol for Reopening Society builds upon existing pandemic frameworks and incorporates current scientific understanding of Covid-19, to provide a roadmap out of the damaging cycle of lockdowns.