3.1 million deaths avoided


Thanks to lockdown observed by many European countries to contain the spread of the new Coronavirus they were avoided in the months of the emergency and well into the beginning of May 3.1 million deaths, 470 thousand in the United Kingdom alone. This is what emerged from a study conducted by the epidemiologists of theImperial College London published in the magazine Nature on the basis of data from eleven European countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Great Britain: research estimates that between 4 and 15 million people in these countries had been infected with Sars-CoV-2 until 4 May , ie from 3.2% to 4% of the population, “with large fluctuations from country to country”. Not only. The number of people who on average a positive individual is able to infect has been cut, again thanks to restrictive measures including the closing of schools and non-essential economic activities, 81 percent, which reported the famous R with zero, i.e. the transmission index of the virus itself, below the critical value of 1, meaning that the epidemic has started its downward phase since each infected person transmits the infection to less than one other person.

Particularly significant are the numbers that come from Kingdom Kingdom, which well explain the importance of the lockdown: the blockade established at the end of March has in fact reduced the reproductive number of the British epidemic from 3.8 to 0.63. “Our model – explained one of the authors of the research, Axel Grandy – also tells us that we are very far from having reached theherd immunity. In the case of Covid-19, scientists believe that over 70% of the population should be resistant for immunity to work. This means that we must be very careful not to lift all isolation measures at the same time because then we risk to lose control. We need to proceed very carefully and slowly so that we can go back when needed. “The team collected data on deaths from Covid-19 from 11 European countries and worked retrospectively on infection levels by analyzing the recorded deaths, to account for the delay between infections and deaths.

By comparing the number of deaths recorded with the deaths in the absence of lockdown measures provided for by the mathematical model underlying the study, it was found that thanks to the anti-contagion measures, approximately 3.1 million deaths were avoided. “Measuring the effectiveness of these interventions is important, given their economic and social impact, and can indicate which course of action is necessary to maintain control”, underlined the British researchers led by Seth Flaxman and Samir Bhatt in an abstract of the study. In confirmation of this, another study, conducted by researchers from the University of California and always published in the journal Nature, showed how closing orders made it possible to avoid 62 million infections by Coronavirus in six countries, including Italy. The research examined the situation in China, the United States, France, Italy, Iran and South Korea. Restrictions prevented 60 million infections, especially in the United States. However, since most infected people are not tested, the actual number of positives avoided according to Berkeley experts is much higher, even amounting to around 530 million in the six countries.

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