According to researchers of a recent study, “Implementation of physical distancing policies nationally is associated with significant reductions in transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes Covid-19, and reduced community mobility”.
The study has been published on Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE. According to the study, the 46 countries that have adopted national physical distancing policies were able to prevent an estimated 1.57 million infection cases. This gauges a 65 per cent decline in new cases of infection.
Raghu Kalluri, a professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US said, “From our data-driven analysis, it became clear that practising social distancing can have a huge impact on transmission rates”.
Researchers of the study have also analysed 74 nations without any social distancing policies and 14 with regional social distancing policies in the study to establish the relationship between social distancing and COVID infection cases.
The researchers said, “The data indicate that significantly greater reductions in transmission were seen in countries after implementing a national social distancing policy compared to those with regional policies or a matched time frame in countries without policies. No significant difference was observed between countries with regional policies and those without social distancing policies.”
They added, “Countries with any social distancing policies had significantly reduced community mobility relative to nations without policies, and those with national policies saw greater decreases than countries with regional policies. There was a strong correlation between decreased mobility and decreased transmission of the virus, highlighting the importance of individuals practicing social distancing to effectively prevent transmission of the virus”.
According to Kalluri, “This is clear evidence that social distancing measures can collectively have tremendous impacts on reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and we encourage individuals to practice social distancing to help control spread of infections”.
He added, “We believe these data will provide useful evidence for public health officials and policy makers when considering future measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities”.