The Need for a Multiple Accounts Cost-Benefit Analysis of COVID-19 Response Measures in British Columbia

Date

2022-09-22

Authors

De Almeida, Steven

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Abstract

By reviewing pre-existing academic literature, research, and data (both international and domestic), this report examines information from a variety of sources to contextualize the threat of COVID-19 against the negative consequences of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) response measures. The qualitative and quantitative data in this report highlights costs associated with COVID-19 response measures relative to the threat of COVID-19 and has been collected to inform a Multiple Accounts Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). This report emphasizes the costs associated with NPIs as they relate to physical and mental health, as well as human rights and economic concerns. Overall, a review of available evidence did find a relationship between COVID-19 NPI response measure implementation and negative outcomes. In fact, it remains unclear if NPIs are proportionate or even effective against the risk posed by COVID-19. How NPIs might be optimized (i.e., to reduce the negative effects of their implementation) remains unclear as mild to severe NPI implementation can yield similar outcomes. Following the above analysis, this report provides recommendations to the Government of BC to ensure that COVID-19 response measures are optimized and proposes that a Multiple Accounts CBA of NPI implementation be completed.

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Keywords

COVID-19, Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, non-pharmaceutical intervention, NPI

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