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Green, M. (On-going): The coronavirus pandemic – Estimating the costs to the economy versus the different measures being taken. A sensitivity analysis

On-going research

Prof. Manfred Green

The aim of this study is to compare the economic impact and the health benefits obtained (using measures such as years of life lost) under different policies of social distancing (closing of schools, businesses, etc.) isolation of contacts and travel restrictions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in extraordinary measures being taken to control the spread the disease in different countries. In the early containment and delay phases, countries have instituted requirements for isolation of patients, self-isolation of contacts for at least 14 days, severe travel restrictions and closure of schools and academic institutions. In addition, restrictions on gatherings of large numbers of people and advice to older to avoid visiting public places, is having a major impact on places of entertainments, small businesses, restaurants, etc.
All these measures will have a major impact on the economy of the country. The measures used to contain and slow down the pandemic at the country level are important to allow the health services to be upgraded and prevent a sudden increase in severe cases requiring hospitalization. It also should reduce large scale absenteeism during a short period of time, impacting on the ability to maintain essential services.
While it seems logical that these steps should improve the ability of health system to function as it should, it is not clear to what extent they will actually save lives. The aim of this study is to carry out basic modeling and a sensitivity analyses of the economic impact under different scenarios and estimate the years of life lost under stringent restrictions of social isolation and travel restrictions as opposed to milder restrictions. Among other things, the study will apply economic modelling based on HTA analysis (including cost per QALYs units) to assess the long-term economic savings to the economy, from reduced morbidity and overall death toll, vs. the short and term losses to the Israeli economy, due to the current restrictions.