More Evidence the Shutdowns Were Necessary

A man pushes a cart beneath an overpass in an unusually quiet downtown Los Angeles. March 24,2020. Image: Mario Tama/Getty
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A man pushes a cart beneath an overpass in an unusually quiet downtown Los Angeles. March 24,2020. Image: Mario Tama/Getty

Shutdowns potentially blocked 530 million COVID-19 infections in 6 countries including the US and China, The Washington Post reports, citing a study preview Nature published today.

Restrictions including stay-at-home orders and business closures prevented ~285 million cases in China and ~60 million in the US alone, according to University of California, Berkeley researchers.

Another study published as a Nature preview says strict shutdowns may have saved ~3.1 million lives across 11 countries in Europe. The researchers from Imperial College London estimated that interventions between March and May 4th helped lower the rate of transmission by an average of 82% across all the countries.

“Our analysis also suggests far more infections in these European countries than previously estimated,” says Samir Bhatt, study author from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, in an Imperial College London news release. “The risk of a second wave happening if all interventions and precautions are abandoned is very real.”

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