Coronavirus lockdown should continue for elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, academics say

“Segmentation and shielding recognises that, although social distancing impacts on the whole of society, the public health burden of Covid-19 is concentrated in a subset of vulnerable people,” said Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh. “By targeting protection to those that need it most, the strategy helps to ensure that the health system is not overwhelmed by severe cases, while giving policy makers greater leeway to partially relax social distancing measures for the majority of the population,” he said. Researchers say lockdown restrictions could be eased for most people, as long as sufficient measures stay in place to keep transmission rates low. “Importantly we know that while at the population level age is a good general predictor for vulnerability this appears (at this stage and with our current evidence) to be related to underlying health conditions.