COVID-19: European responseCoronavirus Measures May Have Already Averted Up to 120,000 Deaths Across Europe

By Ryan O'Hare and Dr. Sabine L. van Elsland

Published 1 April 2020

Strong social distancing measures to slow and suppress the spread of COVID-19 across Europe are estimated to have averted thousands of deaths. According to the research, up to 120,000 deaths may have already been averted in 11 countries, including the U.K., Italy and Spain. However, they add that the estimated proportion of people to have been infected with the virus may only be between 2 percent to 12 percent of the population (2.7 percent in the U.K.).

The findings come from a new analysis by researchers at Imperial College London, which estimates the potential impact of interventions in 11 European countries to counter the coronavirus pandemic – including school closures and national lockdowns.

According to the research, up to 120,000 deaths may have already been averted in 11 countries, including the U.K., Italy and Spain. However, they add that the estimated proportion of people to have been infected with the virus may only be between 2 percent to 12 percent of the population (2.7 percent in the U.K.).

The report is the thirteenth to be released by The WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling within the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (GIDA)Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), in collaboration with Imperial’s Department of Mathematics.

Europe-Wide Response
Many European countries have now implemented unprecedented measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including isolation of confirmed and suspected cases, closing schools and universities, banning mass-gatherings, and most recently, wide-scale social distancing including local and national lockdowns.

Such interventions are aimed at managing the epidemic to prevent an unmitigated rise in cases which would overload health care capacity. Now, the latest modelling shows that they may be having a significant impact, potentially averting up to 120,000 deaths across Europe.

Dr Samir Bhatt, report author and Senior Lecturer from the School of Public Health, said: “It is of course a difficult time for Europe, but governments have taken significant steps to ensure health systems do not get overwhelmed. There is sound evidence that these have started to work and have flattened the curve.

“We believe a large number of lives have been saved. However, it is too soon to say if we have managed to fully control epidemics and more difficult decisions will need to be taken in the coming weeks”

Dr. Seth Flaxman, first author on the latest study from the Department of Mathematics, added: “Even as the death toll continues to mount, we see enough signal in the data to conclude that sustained, drastic actions taken by European governments have already saved lives by driving down the number of new infections each day.

But because these interventions are very recent in most countries, and there is a lag between infection and death, it will take longer—from days to weeks—for these effects to be reflected in the number of daily deaths.”

拼三张炸金花