A study in the British science journal ‘Nature’ has shown that China managed to avoid seven million possible COVID-19 infections through non-pharmaceutical interventions and preventative measures.
The report said that China’s strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures have effectively contained the spread and reduced the effects of the virus in other regions around the world.
As no specific drugs or vaccines have been developed for the virus yet, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) are being used to contain the spread and treat patients.
The study, compiled by researchers from top universities such as the University of Southampton in the UK, Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University in the USA, and Fudan University in China, said that China’s NPI measures gave a ‘window of time’ for the rest of the world.
The measures, which included social distancing, restricted travel and early detection and isolation of cases, managed to reduce the number of infections by as much as 7 million, according to the research.
The report added that without China’s NPI measures, the number of cases would have seen a 67-fold increase by 29th February, reaching 7.7 million.
Lai Shengjie, a researcher at the University of Southampton, said: “China’s active and comprehensive NPIs effectively contained the further spread of the epidemic and bought valuable time for the prevention and control of the pandemic worldwide.”
The study also found that if interventions in China had been introduced just one week earlier, cases could have been reduced by as much as 66 percent.
Shengjie said that researchers will soon look into the effects of wearing masks and improving personal hygiene, such as hand washing, with regards to prevention and control.
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