It's official: Lancet study says social distancing most-effective way to stop coronavirus from spreading

Comprising quarantine, school closure, and workplace measures are most effective at reducing the number of cases.

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At higher infectivity scenarios outbreak prevention becomes considerably more challenging because although effective at reducing infections, transmission events still occur.
SINGAPORE: A combined approach of physical distancing - comprising quarantine, school closure, and workplace measures - is most effective at reducing the number of novel coronavirus cases compared with many other interventions, according to a study published on Tuesday. The modelling study conducted in a simulated Singapore setting estimated that quarantine plus workplace measures, while less effective than the combined approach, presented the next best option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 cases.

This was followed by quarantine plus school closure, and then quarantine only, according to the researchers. All intervention scenarios were more effective at reducing cases than no intervention, they said.

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, is the first of its kind to investigate these options for early intervention in Singapore using simulation.


Despite heightened surveillance and isolation of individuals suspected to have COVID-19 and confirmed cases, the risk is ongoing, with the number of cases continuing to increase in Singapore, the researchers said.

Schools have not been closed, and workplace distancing is recommended, but it is not national policy as yet, they said. The study found that the combined approach could prevent a national outbreak at relatively low levels of infectivity.


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However, at higher infectivity scenarios outbreak prevention becomes considerably more challenging because although effective at reducing infections, transmission events still occur.

"The results of this study provide policy makers in Singapore and other countries with evidence to begin the implementation of enhanced outbreak control measures that could mitigate or reduce local transmission rates if deployed effectively and in a timely manner," said Alex R Cook, from National University of Singapore.

To assess the potential impact of interventions on outbreak size, should local containment fail, the researchers developed an individual-based influenza epidemic simulation model.

The study accounted for demography, individual movement, and social contact rates in workplaces, schools, and homes, to estimate the likelihood of human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

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At higher infectivity scenarios, outbreak prevention becomes considerably more challenging. ​
At higher infectivity scenarios, outbreak prevention becomes considerably more challenging.

Using this model, the researchers estimated the cumulative number of SARS-CoV-2 infections at 80 days, after detection of 100 cases of community transmission.

Compared with the baseline scenario, the combined intervention was the most effective, reducing the estimated median number of infections by 99.3 per cent when basic reproductive value (R0) was 1.5 (resulting in an estimated 1,800 cases).
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However, the researchers noted that at higher infectivity scenarios, outbreak prevention becomes considerably more challenging.

"If the preventive effect of these interventions reduces considerably due to higher asymptomatic proportions, more pressure will be placed on the quarantining and treatment of infected individuals, which could become unfeasible when the number of infected individuals exceeds the capacity of health-care facilities.

"At higher asymptomatic rates, public education and case management become increasingly important, with a need to develop vaccines and existing drug therapies," Cook added.

Empty Mecca, No Devotees At Siddhivinayak: The World Turns Into A Ghost Town Post-Coronavirus Outbreak
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The COVID-19 pandemic has not only severely impacted global health but has changed how our world looks completely. Biggest metropolitan cities which were known for their fast-paced lifestyle have now come to a standstill. Well-known tourist spots and religious sites - be it the New York Times Square or the Holy Mecca - which were thronged by devotees and tourists, now lie deserted.

Several netizens have called the phenomenon ‘earth taking a break’. The images of the deserted streets appear eerily similar to a post-apocalyptic world.

Here are some images which show how the world has changed after the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only severely impacted global health but has changed how our world looks completely. Biggest metropolitan cities which were known for their fast-paced lifestyle have now..
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The Holy Mecca in Saudi Arabia is a site of monumental importance in Islam. The holy site, Kaaba, the cubic building which used to be surrounded by devotees offering prayers, now lies deserted.

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that mosques would no longer accept worshippers for the customary five daily prayers or the weekly Friday prayer, exceptional measures intended to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The crowd, however, has reduced and only a small number of worshippers are performing the ritual called ‘Tawaf’ where they circumambulate the Kaaba.

The Holy Mecca in Saudi Arabia is a site of monumental importance in Islam. The holy site, Kaaba, the cubic building which used to be surrounded by devotees offering prayers, now lies deserted.Saudi ..
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Italy is one of the countries besides Iran and South Korea that is the worst affected by the pandemic. The country is in a state of lockdown and most are quarantined in their homes.

For the unversed, the city of Venice is known for the popular gondola rides and its canals. A Twitter user recently posted the images of swans which have returned to the canals in the wake of reduction in traffic.

The user also shared images of ducks making an appearance in the fountains of Rome and have found a new home.

Italy is one of the countries besides Iran and South Korea that is the worst affected by the pandemic. The country is in a state of lockdown and most are quarantined in their homes.For the unversed, ..
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The iconic New York Times square is known for its giant hoardings, billboards and gigantic displays. It is often thronged by a large number of tourists and New Yorkers, but amid the COVID-19 outbreak, it lies deserted.

The images look eerie particularly because New York, known as the ‘city that never sleeps’, seems to have come to a halt.

The Big Apple is also known for its nightlife, bars and restaurants, which also seem to have come to a standstill.

The iconic New York Times square is known for its giant hoardings, billboards and gigantic displays. It is often thronged by a large number of tourists and New Yorkers, but amid the COVID-19 outbreak..
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The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, lies deserted even after 3 months of the outbreak. Over the last few days, drone footage from the Chinese province has surfaced, which shows the virtually empty town, with deserted streets and markets.

The scary images seem to be taken from a dystopian film and shows how the lines between the real and the reel are often blurred.

The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, lies deserted even after 3 months of the outbreak. Over the last few days, drone footage from the Chinese province has surfaced, which shows the virt..
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India, too, has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic with over 166 cases and 3 deaths reported. Maharashtra, which has the highest number of cases, is also the home to Siddhivinayak Temple, which is usually crowded with devotees.

However, recently, a large number of police personnel have been deployed at the temple and the entry to the temple has been shut.

India, too, has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic with over 166 cases and 3 deaths reported. Maharashtra, which has the highest number of cases, is also the home to Siddhivinayak Temple, which is ..
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European countries, including the UK have been severely affected by the pandemic. As the authorities consider partial lockdown in London, the city and its iconic bridges no longer witness the same footfall.

The Tower bridge and Millennium Bridge lie deserted with virtually no people.

European countries, including the UK have been severely affected by the pandemic. As the authorities consider partial lockdown in London, the city and its iconic bridges no longer witness the same fo..
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