A TEAM of university professors has carried out research exploring methods of minimising the Covid-19 death toll as countries emerge from lockdown.

The researchers created a model allowing them to study measures of epidemic control.

The study found adopting a trace and isolate approach, while maintaining moderate levels of social distancing, could prove key to minimising the death toll.

Prof Friederike Mengel, from the University of Essex’s department of economics, said: “Using the model, we were able to calculate how different combinations of measures would affect the number of deaths, the stress on the health system and immunity in the population.

“We found a strict lockdown would result in significantly lower deaths but, in a case study, we found that even after 500 days of economic standstill, 92 per cent of the population would lack immunity and the risk of infection would remain high.”

She added: “We need to protect people’s health but we also need to find ways of boosting social and economic life again.”

“The drive was to search for a combination of measures that would be reliable, ensure protection of the health service and allow more social and economic activity.”