Study suggests that China could have prevented 95% of its coronavirus cases
According to a recent study by the University of Southampton, China could have prevented 95 percent of coronavirus infections if its measures to contain the outbreak had begun three weeks earlier. However, China only took vigorous action in late January – weeks after police silenced a doctor for trying to raise the alarm.
The study, which was published this week by University of Southampton mapping group WorldPop, measured the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical interventions. The researchers examined how China isolated ill persons, quarantined exposed individuals, conducted contract tracing, restricted travel, closed schools and workplaces, and cancelled mass gatherings.
The analysis – which has yet to be peer-reviewed – found that early case detection and contact reduction were effective in controlling the virus and combined measures can reduce transmission. They can also delay the timing and reduce the size of the epidemic’s peak, and thus buy time for healthcare preparations and drugs research.
The simulations drew on human movement and illness data to model how combined interventions might affect the spread of Covid-19.
Coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 66 percent if the measures were taken a week earlier, the study suggested, or by 86 percent if action began two weeks earlier.
If action had been taken three weeks later, then the situation could have worsened 18-fold.