Scientists have evaluated the effectiveness of quarantine in the fight against coronavirus

There are two scenarios for combating the coronavirus pandemic: one allows you to slow down its spread, the second – completely stop it with the risk of a new outbreak in the future. This conclusion was made by scientists in London.

Epidemiologists from Imperial College London evaluated the effectiveness of various strategies to contain the new coronavirus, a study published on the organization’s website.

A team of specialists in various fields of medicine studied five options for containing the disease:

home isolation of individual patients when people with symptoms of the disease (cough or fever) remain at home for a week after the onset of symptoms;
home quarantine, when all members of the family in which there are cases of the disease remain at home for 14 days after the onset of symptoms;
social distance – reduction of contacts of all people outside the home, school or workplace;
social distance for people over 70, when the restriction of social contacts affects only the elderly, who are at the greatest risk of serious illness;
the closure of schools and universities.

As the study showed, different combinations of these methods lead to only two scenarios. In the first scenario, measures will help slow the spread of infection, but will not be able to completely stop its spread. This can significantly reduce the burden on the health care system and protect those who are most vulnerable: the elderly or people with weakened immune systems. In this case, the epidemic will peak within three to four months.

In the second scenario, the spread of the disease is almost completely interrupted. However, some time after the lifting of strict quarantine measures, the coronavirus may return. The second outbreak of COVID-19 in this case may occur next winter.

For the first scenario, a combination of home isolation of patients and their families, as well as social distance of the elderly, is enough. This can reduce the burden on the health system by two-thirds, and mortality by half. In this case, the spread of coronavirus can still lead to approximately 250 thousand deaths.

The second scenario requires the application of all of the above measures, including isolation of the entire population. All these measures, says Professor Crystal Donnelly, can lead to devastating consequences even without taking into account the spread of the disease itself.

By Cindy
In Other
March 22, 2020

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