To relaunch an economy crippled by the new coronavirus (Covid-19), people who have become immune to the virus and those who are not carriers should be systematically identified, a group of Belgian researchers recommend.
They could then return to work in all safety and relaunch production, according to the four economists and epidemiologists, who also want a rapid assessment done of the number of people who are resistant to the virus.
The priority is to inject massive amounts of public funds to support workers and businesses, a first phase that is already being implemented, the four researchers point out on the www.voxeu.org site, created at the initiative of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).
The second phase is more delicate, they say. Relaunching the economy also means overcoming people’s fear of contracting the virus, for example through contact with colleagues. Before relaunching production, it is, therefore, necessary to identify people who will not be infected or who will not spread the virus. The required tests already exist, the specialists say.
It would also be necessary to quickly assess the percentage of individuals who are resistant to the virus as well as the real mortality rate for the coronavirus. The researchers advocate the immediate testing of a representative sample of the population.
This model for overcoming the coronavirus crisis would reduce the loss of human life, and avert the risk of an economic crisis accompanied by serious social tensions, the researchers argue.