Covid-19: The lockdown prevented up to 3 million deaths in Europe

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Large-scale lockdown, including the closure of stores and schools, has slowed the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Europe enough to control its spread and may have prevented more than three million deaths, researchers said today.

In a modeling study on the effect of lockdown in 11 countries, scientists at Imperial College London said that the draconian measures, which were imposed in the majority in March, had a “significant effect” and helped to reduce the rate of reproduction of the infection. from one to the beginning of May.

The rate of reproduction, or the R0 value, measures the average number of people who have been infected with the disease. A value of R0 above 1 can lead to an exponential increase.

According to the Imperial team’s estimates, from 12 to 15 million people in 11 countries – Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland – were infected with COVID by early May. -19.

Comparing the number of deaths counted with the deaths predicted by their model if lockdown measures had not been taken, they found that about 3.1 million deaths were avoided.

“Measuring the effectiveness of these interventions is important, given their economic and social impact, and may indicate what course of action is needed to maintain control,” the researchers said in a summary of their findings.

A second study by scientists in the United States, published with Imperial in Nature magazine, found that lockdown policies against infection in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States prevented or about 530 million COVID-19 cases were delayed.

Focusing on these six countries, the US research team compared the rate of increase in infection before and after the implementation of at least 1,700 local, regional and national policies designed to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. disease caused by the new coronary artery SARS-CoV-2.

They found that without the implementation of anti-pollution policies, the initial rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection increased by 68% per day in Iran and by 38% on average per day in the other five countries.

Using econometric models commonly used to evaluate economic policies, they found that lockdown slowed the rate of transmission by “measurable beneficial health effects in most cases.”

naftemporiki.gr with information from AMPE, Reuters

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