A study conducted by London Imperial College London shows that extensive quarantine measures, including the closure of shops and schools, have significantly reduced the spread of the coronavirus in Europe and helped save more than three million lives.
According to British scientists, the drastic measures introduced by most European countries in March had a “significant impact”, and helped to reduce the reproduction number below one by the beginning of May. The reproductive number indicates how many other people, on average, become infected with one infected person.
Researchers at Imperial College London studied the situation in eleven European countries – Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Norway, Austria, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. According to them, between 12 and 15 million people in these countries had been infected with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by the beginning of May.
A comparison of the actual number of deaths due to the COVID-19 with the number of deaths derived from a model simulating a situation without strict measures showed that 3.1 million deaths were prevented.
For example in Britain, thanks to strict measures, 470,000 people did not die, in France 690,000 and 630,000 people in Italy.
“It is important that we measure the effectiveness of these measures in terms of their economic and social consequences,” said the researchers, who added that the study could help policymakers decide on other measures needed to keep the spread of the virus under control in the near future.
Title image: A London Underground worker, right, hands over a free face mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer to a passenger at London’s Baker Street station, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Wearing a face mask will become compulsory on the London TFL public transport service starting from June 15, 2020, as a safety measure to contrast the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)