The government is considering a range of options for easing lockdown – and the “rollover” is one of them.
It is the name given to an on-off system for easing lockdown.
People would spend 50 days under strict rules and then 30 days of relaxed social distancing.
British scientists from Cambridge University are recommending the 80-day cycle.
It would help to reduce the number of Covid-19 deaths and admissions to intensive care units.
It could go on until 2022.
The strategy is based on mathematical formulas using data from 16 countries.
And it applies to the UK.
However, lead author Dr Rajiv Chowdhury said: “Although we did not model the situation in the UK, I would expect it to be very similar to that in other high income countries.”
The study was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
It found it could save jobs – relieving financial insecurity and social disruption.
But the successful “test-contact trace-isolate” system and shielding of the vulnerable would remain in place.
His international team believe the approach is more sustainable over the long term.
That is compared with current methods that minimise person-to-person transmission of the virus.
Their measures include social distancing, isolating suspected infected individuals, school closures – and lockdowns.
Dr Chowdhury said this solution might be more “sustainable”.
That’s because the periods of strict lockdown would be broken up by 30 days of relative normality.
Protected from hardship
People could get back to workplaces and socialising with each other in between.
But he added that specific durations of the intervals would need to be defined by each country.
That would be according to their needs and local facilities.
The key is to identify a pattern that protects the population from Covid-19.
It also protects them from economic hardship and mental health issues.
The virus has been detected in every country, with more than 4.6 million confirmed cases and a death toll of over 320,000 to date.
There is no effective treatment and a widely-available vaccine is likely to be at least a year away.
It has been unclear how long lockdowns should last and which strategy could be adapted globally.
So the Global Dynamic Interventions Strategies for Covid-19 Collaborative Group modelled three scenarios across countries spanning Belgium to India.
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