During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns were implemented to achieve two goals: (1) to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and (2) to reduce the number of COVID-19 deaths. In this paper, the authors aim to look at empirical evidence on how effectively lockdowns achieved these goals among small island developing states (SIDS) and for one specific SIDS economy, Guam.
The authors reviewed existing studies to form two hypotheses: that lockdowns reduced cases, and that lockdowns reduced deaths. Defining a lockdown as a positive value for Oxford COVID-19 government response tracker, OxCGRT's stringency index, the authors tested the above hypotheses on 185 countries, 27 SIDS economies and Guam using correlation and regression analyses, and using different measures of the strictness, duration and timing of the lockdown.
The authors found no evidence to support the hypothesis that lockdowns reduced the number of cases based on data for all 185 countries and 27 SIDS economies. While the authors found evidence to support the hypothesis in the case of Guam, the result required an unrealistically and implausibly long time lag of 365 days. As to the second hypothesis that lockdowns reduced the number of deaths, the authors found no evidence to support it for 185 countries, 27 SIDS economies as well as Guam.
From the review of the existing literature, the authors are the first to conduct this type of study among SIDS economies as a group and on Guam.
Kabigting, L.C., Ruane, M.C.M. and Sayama, K.C. (2023), "Lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic among small island developing states and Guam", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-12-2022-0574
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