Are lockdowns effective at stopping the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A study published in Nature journal found that lockdowns implemented in some countries did reduce the transmission of the coronavirus
Shutdowns prevented or delayed an estimated 531 million coronavirus (COVID-19) infections across six countries—China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, France and the United States—according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley.
A lockdown was effective at helping Italy control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
After Italy imposed a strict lockdown in early March 2020, the number of cases reached its peak on March 26 and by late April, the R-factor had fallen to 0.8 with only about half as many new cases daily. By August 5, daily new cases had dropped to about 7% of the peak number.
European countries that imposed lockdowns were better able to contain the coronavirus than non-European countries that didn't.
OECD countries have been able to bring the R-factor of the COVID-19 pandemic to below one on average 28 days after imposing lockdowns. By contrast, Latin America has had a much harder time reducing the R-factor and flattening the curve of infection.
Shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives across 11 European countries, according to a paper published in Nature journal.
According to scientists at Imperial College London, in Europe, interventions to reduce the coronavirus’ spread brought infection rates down from pre-intervention levels by an average of 81%. In all countries, R naught was less than one.
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Scientists and experts have often questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns at mitigating pandemics (even before COVID-19).
In a paper titled, "Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza", the authors say, "It is difficult to identify circumstances in the past half-century when large-scale quarantine has been effectively used in the control of any disease."