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Within the context of SEIR models, we consider a lockdown that is both imposed and lifted at an early stage of an epidemic. We show that, in these models, although such a lockdown may delay deaths, it eventually does not avert a significant number of fatalities. Therefore, in these models, the efficacy of a lockdown cannot be gauged by simply comparing figures for the deaths at the end of the lockdown with the projected figure for deaths by the same date without the lockdown. We provide adoi:10.1101/2020.06.27.20134932 fatcat:65yfwrjfurgx7kpi2wzi7myaiu