Delay in social distancing norms could extend duration of COVID-19 spread


By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |

Published: June 3, 2020 8:50:39 pm


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According to a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, delay in implementing social distancing norms could considerably lengthen the duration of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It indicates that postponement of a single day in such a scenario could add 2.4 days to the overall duration of the outbreak.

This conclusion has been drawn through an analysis conducted in 58 cities, where the COVID-19 virus has been prevalent. Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin considered data from cities throughout China. It has been noted that a prompt initiative and firm decision taken to put in place restrictions among people to gather could help lessen the number of infected individuals in that particular area.

Similarly, the scientists involved in this study affirm that these findings are not only applicable to places that would see another wave of rising cases in the near future but also the areas where the first coronavirus-infected patient would be detected. Lauren Ancel Meyers has led the UT Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. As per the reports, she stated, “Every day saves time, saves effort, saves people becoming infected and probably saves lives.”

Meyers was quoted, “Our findings have implications for the timing of interventions in US cities. We need concrete plans for when and how to respond to rising cases to prevent unnecessarily long and costly restrictions.” The moves that this study recommends need to be acted upon quite actively. It puts forth the view that a week’s delay to put in place social distancing rules after another resurgence of coronavirus cases would require 17 more days of similar norms to curb the spread further.

It is safe to say that a vast amount of data was analysed to draw some pattern with regards to the impact caused by not taking immediate measures of maintaining distance amongst people. After a considerable amount of pondering, it was inferred that the timing of the first step taken in this aspect has a major impact on the ongoing situation.

Meyers observed, “We provide direct, data-driven evidence that the timing of interventions has a substantial impact on how long an outbreak lasts, how effective our interventions are and, ultimately, how many people might be infected and die from the virus.”

The scientists have further reiterated that it is never too late to apply their suggestions practically. Though the earlier done the better, it could always be useful even in the middle of this combat against the novel coronavirus.

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