Paper published in Science
looks at how travel and quarantine influence the dynamics of the spread of
COVID-19. It concludes that the travel quarantine introduced in Wuhan on
23 January 2020 only delayed epidemic progression by 3 to 5 days within China,
but international travel restrictions did help to slow spread elsewhere in the
world until mid-February. The results suggest that early detection, hand
washing, self-isolation, and household quarantine will likely be more effective
than travel restrictions at mitigating this pandemic.
Link to paper: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6489/395.full
This study mapped the coronavirus epidemic curve for 25 countries and modeled how the spread of the virus has changed in response to the various lockdown measures. It classifies each country’s public health response using New Zealand’s four alert system. Levels 1 and 2 represent relatively relaxed controls, whereas levels 3 and 4 are stricter. By mapping the change in the effective reproduction number (Reff, an indicator of the actual spread of the virus in the community) against response measures, the research shows countries that implemented level 3 and 4 restrictions sooner had greater success in pushing Reff to below 1.
The new coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years—until 60% to 70% of the population has been infected, says a new report. The primary focus of these scenarios is on the Northern Hemisphere, but similar patterns could occur in the Global South, as well. The lack of robust healthcare infrastructure and comorbidities such as other infections, malnutrition, and chronic respiratory disease in certain areas of the Global South could result in the pandemic being even more severe in those areas, as was noted during the 1918-19 pandemic.
Link to PDF: CIDRAP report COVID-19 to spread up to 2 years
MIT has developed a model to determine the efficacy of quarantine
measures and better predict the spread of the virus. The model found that in places where strong
measures were implemented quickly, the quarantine effort could effectively curb
the spread of the virus. In places where the quarantine efforts were rolled out
slowly, the effort to slow the spread has been less effective. The model
predicts when the coronavirus ‘plateau’ will take place, finding that the cases
aren’t likely to start stagnating until some time between April 15 and April
20. It says that restrictions on quarantine can only be made when multiple
conditions are met, including when the transmission is controlled, hospitals
have capacities to meet all the needs of the public, workplaces have effective
preventative measures in place, and more.
Link to article: http://news.mit.edu/2020/new-model-quantifies-impact-quarantine-measures-covid-19-spread-0416