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​The cautious, uneasy easing of restrictions

Published on: 22-May-2020

The Straits Times, pages A4 and A5
As more countries relax their lockdown measures, the pressure mounts on others to follow suit as their citizens grumble and businesses suffer, but experts caution that a hasty approach may lead to waves of new infections. Prof Euston Quah, head of economics at the NTU, suggested a simple way to figure out which activities should be eased and by how much - see which areas of the economy are suffering the most. Compare that cost of lost income, business closures and job losses against the cost of a second wave of infections and the toll it would take in terms of medical costs, suffering and deaths. "As long as the cost of the former is greater than the latter, it makes sense to ease more, but not otherwise," he said.

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