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Researchers to Study Psychological Toll of Lockdown

Researchers to Study Psychological Toll of Lockdown

Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 11:15
Resident Laurent Lanthier and his son Robin, 12 pose behind the window of their home with objects significant to them during a coronavirus lockdown in Brussels, Belgium. | Yves Herman/ REUTERS
Asharq Al-Awsat

A renowned Belgian university is launching a cross-border study in three European countries to assess the nefarious psychological effects of lockdown measures on individuals.

Researchers from the Louvain university say they want to find out to what extent the quarantine measures imposed to fight the novel coronavirus epidemics have changed people´s way of life, and to analyze their impact on mental health.

Fearing a rise in the number of suicides, health sociologist Vincent Louvain said that governments are often overlooking the side effects of the quarantine measures as they try to stop the spreading of the deadly virus.

"Governments are currently putting their energy on managing the epidemic. As a result, other risks are forgotten," he said, insisting that a large part of the population is psychologically fragile and in need of health care. "The situation could deteriorate in terms of mental health".

The survey will analyze data collected in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. It will be piloted by the Louvain university in collaboration with a French institute specialized in health economy and the Antwerp university.

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