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Tags Current Affairs

Social distancing and Covid-19 spread

Date: 04 August 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices

Issue

Researchers have tried to quantify the efficacy of social distancing measures by analysing the spread of Covid-19 in 134 nations which have varying policies on social distancing. 

 

Background

Social distancing is among the key precautionary measures to protect against and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

 

Details

  • The researchers attempted to quantify the effects of social distancing measures on curbing the spread of Covid-19. They found that such measures significantly reduced spreading rates compared to time-matched intervals in nations that did not implement social distancing policies.

  • The researchers found that as a result of social-distancing policies, the prevention of mortality in the US could save $8 trillion nationally, or $60,000 per household.

  • In the US, where it was up to states to implement social distancing measures, researchers found that the smallest reductions in the spread of Covid-19 were observed in Nebraska and Wyoming, the two states without any social distancing measures.

  • They found that those nations with social distancing policies recorded a larger decrease in their Covid-19 spread rate than those with regional social distancing policies.

  • There were no significant differences found in countries with regional policies and those without any social distancing policies.

  • The study showed that testing rates and the change in testing rates observed in pre-social distancing time periods showed no difference between countries with and without social distancing policies.

  • Since researchers relied on direct Covid-19 testing for their analysis, it is possible that they underestimated the prevalence of the disease.

  • Further, while various factors such as climate, population density, healthcare infrastructure, testing rates, and population characteristics determine the spread of Covid-19, this study focussed on the change in transmission as a result of social distancing policies only.

  1. While India was not included in this analysis, it has a nation-wide implementation of social distancing, with state governments actively enforcing the policy.

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