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Isolation in China prevented 1.4 million cases of covid-19, says study

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Isolation in China prevented 1.4 million cases of covid-19, says study

Yale University research showed that containment measures taken in Hubei province may have prevented thousands of deaths

A study published this week by a researcher at Yale University in the USA, states that the containment measures adopted by China at the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic in January, may have prevented at least 1.4 million cases and 56 thousand deaths from covid-19 and managed to control the disease.

Read also: Wuhan pulmonologist: 'Why didn't other countries learn?'

The research, led by Professor of Health Policy Xi Chen at the Yale School of Public Health, created a computer model that simulated transmission trends within Chinese cities and the spread from one city to another and studied the effects of the measures restrictions in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, the city where the pandemic started.

Impacts of distancing

The researchers used variables to simulate a possible increase in virus transmission due to the country's climate at the time. From there, the impacts of social distancing policies and the closure of Wuhan and nearby cities were analyzed to avoid spread.

The results showed that restricted quarantine, city closings and other health policies reduced the rate of coronavirus transmission. The model says that containment began to take effect in February.

The most effective measure, according to the model, was to close cities, preventing the virus from being transported to other parts of China. Social distance, health surveillance of communities and restrictions on the movement of people were also important.

The departure of people from the region where the outbreak began was the greatest risk, say the researchers, more than geographical proximity and the socioeconomic conditions of the population.

"The results have important implications for global efforts to contain covid-19," Chen said in an interview with Chinese agency Xinhua. According to the professor, the study can help not only other countries in the current pandemic, but also to understand measures that could be used against similar diseases in the future.

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