The analysis comprised 790 phases from 131 countries. (Representative)
The ban on public events can cut COVID-19 reproduction number (R) – a key measure of virus transmission – by 24 percent in less than a month, according to a model study published in The Lancet Journal.
An R value above 1 indicates a growing breakout, while an R value below 1 indicates a shrinking breakout.
The research, using data from 131 countries, suggests that individual measures, including closing schools and workplaces, banning public events and gatherings of more than ten people, staying at home, and internal movement limits with a Reduction in the transmission of data are linked to SARS-CoV-2.
However, combined measures are more effective at reducing transmission, the researchers said.
“We found that combining different measures has the greatest effect on reducing the transmission of COVID-19. As the virus recurs, policymakers will need to consider combinations of measures to reduce the R-number, ”said Professor Harish Nair of the University of Edinburgh, UK.
“Our study can inform decisions about which measures should be introduced or lifted and when their effects are to be expected. However, it also depends on the local context – the R number at a given point in time, the local health capacity and social environment and economic impact of interventions, “said Nair.
Looking at the measures individually, a ban on public events was associated with the largest reduction in R – 24 percent after 28 days – which the researchers suspect because it likely prevents super-spreader events, and this was often the first measure that is being introduced in countries.
The measures most closely linked to increases in R were lifting bans on gatherings of more than ten people and reopening schools, according to the researchers.
Although schools reopening was associated with a 24 percent increase in R by day 28, researchers caution that they failed to take into account some precautions that some countries have been taking to reopen schools, such as: B. Class Size Limits, Distancing Measures, Routine Deep Cleansing, Personal Hand Washing, Face Masks, and Thermal Temperature Checks on Arrival.
They said these are essential for the school to reopen more safely and should be considered when interpreting this finding.
“We saw an increase in the R after schools reopened, but it is not clear whether the increase was due to certain age groups where there may be significant differences in adherence to social distancing measures inside and outside the classroom,” added Nair added.
“In addition, more data is needed to understand the specific role schools play in increasing SARS-CoV-2 transmission through robust contact tracing,” he said.
However, the study does not consider other potentially influential factors that affect R – including but not limited to interventional compliance, changes in population behavior, subnational differences in R, or the effects of contact tracing and isolation – all of which vary by context.
Using the R-number as a proxy for transmission also has limitations as it is difficult to estimate accurately, especially when the prevalence is low, the researchers said.
In this model study, data on daily estimates of R at the country level were combined with data on what actions these countries took from January 1, 2020 to July 20, 2020.
The timetable for each country was broken down into separate phases in which all measures in that country remained the same.
The analysis included 790 phases from 131 countries and the authors used a model to measure the relationship between the measures in place and the changes in the R.
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