A study conducted by experts at the Imperial College, London has found that non-pharmaceutical government interventions like lockdowns may have averted scores of Covid-19 deaths – saving nearly 60,000 people in over 10 European nations.
The report published on March 30 studies the effects of “unprecedented non-pharmaceutical interventions including case isolation, the closure of schools and universities, banning of mass gatherings and/or public events, and most recently, widescale social distancing including local and national lockdowns” by various governments to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per the report, with the help of current interventions across 11 European countries, as many as 59,000 deaths would have been averted up to March 31.
“Many more deaths will be averted through ensuring that interventions remain in place until transmission drops to low levels,” the study read.
The experts suggest that the number of deceased in Covid-19 hotspots Italy and Spain would have been way higher in the absence of such measures.
The experts used a semi-mechanistic Bayesian hierarchical model for the study which found that lockdowns saved nearly 38,000 lives in Italy and Spain up to the end of March and another people 2,500 in France.
According to the report, between 7 to 11 million individuals have been infected by coronavirus in 11 European countries up to 28th March, representing between 1.88% and 11.43% of the population.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 800,000 people across the globe and claimed more than 40,000 lives worldwide, the World Health Organization states.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II and could trigger conflicts around the world.