COVID-19: How strong is the distancing effect on the risk of disease?
A research team modified an Influenza developed model, so that it can be used to calculate the spread of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. So, for example, can be calculated, how the Virus might spread in a metropolis such as Singapore and Wuhan, and which effects are to be expected in the case of measures such as social distancing to.
Using a model calculation, international researchers tried to end the effect of to quantify counter-measures to be taken for the containment of SARS-CoV-2. The study was recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases”.
School and work closures in the model make sense
The results of the calculation indicate that the closure of schools and workplaces in Wuhan, China, the number of COVID-19-reduced cases, and the peak of the epidemic has significantly delayed, causing the health system won have time to react to the crisis as appropriate.
Warning of the second peak
“The unprecedented measures taken by the city of Wuhan to the reduction of social contacts in the school and in the workplace, have helped to bring the outbreak under control,” explains research leader Dr. Kiesha Prem from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.
According to the model, the city must now take care that the measures for the physical distancing are not lifted prematurely, as this could result in the model calculations to a secondary peak. If the restrictions, however, are gradually easing, could this delay is probably the highlight as well as flatten.
Many unknown factors
The authors warn however, that given the large uncertainties in the estimates of the reproduction number (how many people Sick is likely to infect) and the average infection time of a Person, the actual effect of physical distancing measures on the current COVID-19-not be epidemic accurately predicted.
How does the model work?
In the study, the researchers developed a transmission model, the impact of School – and work-safe-place-to-quantify, but they used information on how often people of different ages mix in different places to each other.
On the basis of the latest data on the spread of COVID-19 in Wuhan, and the rest of China, taking into account the number of contacts per day by age groups in school and work, the researchers compared the effects of three scenarios:
The curve could be flattened in the model
The analyses suggest that the normal school holidays and public holidays, would have had little influence on the course of the outbreak, when schools and workplaces were open as usual. The introduction of extreme measures for the reduction of social contacts in the school and at the workplaces, however, could pay in the model, the case and the extent of the epidemic-the height of the peak decrease and at the same time the peak of the epidemic delay.
The effects of this distancing measures seem to be differently according to age, with the decline of new cases in school age seems children and the elderly the most, and in the case of adults in the acquisition to be at its lowest. As soon as these interventions are, however relaxed, you can expect to pay a further rise in the case.
The most effective method
The results of the analyses indicate that measures for the physical distancing are the most effective, if the return to work and school starts in a staggered manner. This method was able to reduce the number of new infections in the model by the end of 2020 by 24 percent, and a second peak to the October delay.
Results are not one-to-one in reality
“Our results will not look in another country, exactly because the structure of the population and the way people mix, will be different”, is Co-author, Dr. Yang, to bear in mind Liu. However, a significant effect of physical distance measures, is probably to be expected anywhere. The study highlights that the way can the measures be repealed, a decisive role on the further course of the pandemic.
Study could be important for policy decisions
Dr. Tim Colbourn, University College London, commented on the study as follows: “The study of Kiesha Prem and the Team from The Lancet Public Health is for political decision-makers everywhere are of crucial importance, as it demonstrates the impact of the expansion or relaxation of control measures on physical distance on the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China.”
“In view of the fact that many countries with growing epidemics, now not in front of the first Phase of the closure, must be found safe ways out of the Situation,” sums up the expert. (vb)