Impact of National Containment Measures on Decelerating the Increase in Daily New Cases of COVID-19 in 54 Countries and 4 Epicenters of the Pandemic: Comparative Observational Study.J Med Internet Res. 2020 07 22; 22(7):e19904.JM
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a worldwide epidemic, and various countries have responded with different containment measures to reduce disease transmission, including stay-at-home orders, curfews, and lockdowns. Comparative studies have not yet been conducted to investigate the impact of these containment measures; these studies are needed to facilitate public health policy-making across countries.
The aim of this study was to describe and evaluate the impact of national containment measures and policies (stay-at-home orders, curfews, and lockdowns) on decelerating the increase in daily new cases of COVID-19 in 54 countries and 4 epicenters of the pandemic in different jurisdictions worldwide.
We reviewed the effective dates of the national containment measures (stay-at-home order, curfew, or lockdown) of 54 countries and 4 epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic (Wuhan, New York State, Lombardy, and Madrid), and we searched cumulative numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and daily new cases provided by health authorities. Data were drawn from an open, crowdsourced, daily-updated COVID-19 data set provided by Our World in Data. We examined the trends in the percent increase in daily new cases from 7 days before to 30 days after the dates on which containment measures went into effect by continent, World Bank income classification, type of containment measures, effective date of containment measures, and number of confirmed cases on the effective date of the containment measures.
We included 122,366 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection from 54 countries and 24,071 patients from 4 epicenters on the effective dates on which stay-at-home orders, curfews, or lockdowns were implemented between January 23 and April 11, 2020. Stay-at-home, curfew, and lockdown measures commonly commenced in countries with approximately 30%, 20%, or 10% increases in daily new cases. All three measures were found to lower the percent increase in daily new cases to <5 within one month. Among the countries studied, 20% had an average percent increase in daily new cases of 30-49 over the seven days prior to the commencement of containment measures; the percent increase in daily new cases in these countries was curbed to 10 and 5 a maximum of 15 days and 23 days after the implementation of containment measures, respectively.
Different national containment measures were associated with a decrease in daily new cases of confirmed COVID-19 infection. Stay-at-home orders, curfews, and lockdowns curbed the percent increase in daily new cases to <5 within a month. Resurgence in cases within one month was observed in some South American countries.