UN officials have pointed to a study that reveals lockdowns and school closures are doing more harm to children than the coronavirus itself, with many more deaths expected to come from the reaction to the outbreak, rather than the pandemic itself.
In a presentation seeking extra funding for coronavirus efforts, UNICEF director Henrietta H Fore said Monday,
“The repercussions of the pandemic are causing more harm to children than the disease itself.”
UNICEF nutrition program chief Victor Aguayo noted that the most harm is being done “by having schools closed, by having primary health care services disrupted, by having nutritional programs dysfunctional.”
The officials pointed to a study published in The Lancet that notes “physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions, and country lockdowns” are worsening global child malnutrition.
The study estimates that an extra 6.7 million children will be at risk, and that lockdowns and other coronavirus responses could lead to more than 10,000 additional child deaths every month.
The UNICEF officials noted that would mean 128,000 more deaths among children within the next year.