China’s Controls May Have Headed Off 700,000 COVID-19 Cases: Study

WEDNESDAY, April eight, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — Substantial controls imposed early in China’s coronavirus outbreak may perhaps have prevented hundreds of hundreds of infections, a new research indicates.

Researchers analyzed the movements of people out of Wuhan (where the virus was initially detected), the forms and timing of controls throughout China, and COVID-19 circumstances reported every single day in every single town.

The summary: Controls imposed through the China outbreak’s initially fifty times may perhaps have delayed spread of the virus to other cities by a number of times, blocking more than seven hundred,000 infections throughout the region.

The authors said the results — just lately published in the journal Science — could be helpful for nations even now in early phases of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The quantity of confirmed circumstances in China by day fifty (February 19) of the epidemic, was around 30,000,” said research co-creator Christopher Dye, a visiting fellow at the College of Oxford, in the U.K.

“Our assessment indicates that without the Wuhan travel ban and the nationwide emergency reaction there would have been more than seven hundred,000 confirmed COVID-19 circumstances outside the house of Wuhan by that day. China’s handle steps look to have labored by correctly breaking the chain of transmission — blocking speak to amongst infectious and vulnerable people,” Dye said.

Slowing down the virus’s spread from Wuhan to other cities “offered further time to get ready for the arrival of COVID-19 in more than one hundred thirty cities,” said co-creator Huaiyu Tian, affiliate professor of epidemiology at Beijing Regular College.

These cities took steps these kinds of as banning community gatherings, closing leisure amenities and suspending community transport. As a outcome, they reported 33% much less confirmed coronavirus circumstances through the initially 7 days of their outbreaks than other cities, according to the scientists.

For the research, scientists tapped a common tracking instrument — mobile phone mobility facts.

“Due to the fact the time period we examined included the Spring Festival holiday getaway and Chinese Lunar New 12 months, we were being in a position to evaluate designs of travel into and out of Wuhan through the outbreak with mobile phone facts from two previous spring festivals,” said co-creator Ottar Bjornstad, a professor of entomology and biology at Penn Point out in School Park, Pa.

The assessment confirmed an “extraordinary reduction in movement” adhering to the travel ban, he included.

— Robert Preidt

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Resource: Penn Point out College, news launch, March 31, 2020