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Countries around the world, including the United States, are at various stages of reopening, but concerns have been raised about a so-called “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic. A new study suggests that intermittent blockages followed by periods of relaxation may be an “effective strategy to reduce the number of deaths associated with COVID-19”.
Research suggests that a strategy of being subject to a strict lockdown for 50 days, followed by a more relaxed 30-day social distancing regimen, could reduce the number of people infected by each infected individual to 0.5 in all country.
“Our models predict that dynamic 50-day suppression cycles followed by a 30-day relaxation are effective in reducing the number of deaths significantly for all countries during the 18-month period,” the lead author of the study, Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, a global health epidemiologist from the University of Cambridge, said in a statement.
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In addition, the authors noted that this approach could keep the number of intensive care patients below available capacity and not overwhelm the hospital system.
The pandemic would cause a longer event, “beyond 18 months in all countries”, but the number of people who would die in the 16 countries modeled would be just over 130,000.
“This intermittent combination of strict social distancing and a relatively relaxed period, with effective testing, case isolation, contact tracing and protection of the vulnerable, can allow people and their national economies to” breathe “At regular intervals – a potential that could make this solution more sustainable, especially in resource-poor regions,” added Chowdhury.
To date, the pandemic, which started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 323,000 people worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Among them, nearly 92,000 deaths have occurred in the United States, the most affected country on the planet.
Two other scenarios were considered, including one where governments around the world are taking no action. In this scenario, the pandemic would end in about six months, but 7.8 million deaths would occur in the 16 modeled countries.
A second scenario also provided for a 50-day lockout and a 30-day detent cycle, although less stringent than the above plan.
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According to this structure, the pandemic would last “around 12 months in high-income countries” and 18 months or more in other countries. It would also cause more than 3.5 million deaths, while simultaneously crushing intensive care and intensive care capabilities in hospitals around the world.
The 16 countries that were included in the model are: Australia, Belgium, Chile, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Mexico, Colombia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso.
Despite the results of the study, the researchers conceded that these wheel locks may not be better suited for all countries and were just an option for legislators and public health officials to consider.
“There is no simple answer to the question of which strategy to choose,” added the professor at the University of Bern and one of the study’s co-authors, Oscar Franco. “Countries – particularly low-income countries – will have to weigh the dilemma of preventing COVIDs – 19 related deaths and public health system failure with the collapse and long-term economic hardship. “
The research was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
Earlier this week, data from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seems to suggest that patients who test positive for COVID-19 after previously recovering are not able to transmit the infection.
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As of Wednesday morning, more than 4.91 million cases of coronavirus had been diagnosed worldwide, including more than 1.53 million in the United States, the most affected country on the planet.
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