Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

Shut­down or­ders pre­vented about 60 mil­lion novel coron­avirus in­fec­tions in the United States and 285 mil­lion in China, ac­cord­ing to a re­search study pub­lished Mon­day that ex­am­ined how stay-at-home or­ders and other re­stric­tions lim­ited the spread of the con­ta­gion.

A sep­a­rate study from epi­demi­ol­o­gists at Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don es­ti­mated the shut­downs saved about 3.1 mil­lion lives in 11 Euro­pean coun­tries, in­clud­ing 500,000 in the United King­dom, and dropped in­fec­tion rates by an av­er­age of 82 per cent, suf­fi­cient to drive the con­ta­gion well be­low epi­demic lev­els.

The two re­ports, pub­lished si­mul­ta­ne­ously Mon­day in the jour­nal Na­ture, used com­pletely dif­fer­ent meth­ods to reach sim­i­lar con­clu­sions. They sug­gest that the ag­gres­sive and un­prece­dented shut­downs, which caused mas­sive eco­nomic dis­rup­tions and job losses, were ef­fec­tive at halt­ing the ex­po­nen­tial spread of the novel coron­avirus.

“With­out these poli­cies em­ployed, we would have lived through a very dif­fer­ent April and May,” said Solomon Hsiang, di­rec­tor of the Global Pol­icy Lab­o­ra­tory at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley.

He said the shut­downs and other mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures re­sulted in “sav­ing more lives in a shorter pe­riod of time than ever be­fore.”

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