Research Models Show Earlier Lockdowns Could Have Saved 36,000 Lives

Paramedics and firefighters with Anne Arundel County Fire Department load a presumptive COVID-19 patient onto the ambulance

Study says earlier lockdown measures could have saved thousands of lives

Trump has continued to praise his own decision on closing travel from China as the most important one in combating coronavirus, saying that move "saved a lot of lives".

The findings from the Columbia University study echo conclusions from other research published last month, in which a pair of epidemiologist researchers concluded, out of 60,000 projected deaths by August at the time, 37,000 of them could have been avoided had the administration implemented social distancing one week earlier, and 90 percent of deaths could have been avoided if actions had been taken sooner than that.

The lives of about 36,000 people could have been saved if the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures just a week earlier than it did in March to control the spread of the coronavirus, new estimates from Columbia University show. They simulated undocumented and documented cases, tracked transmission in every county and movement between the counties, and analyzed how the virus spread by looking at the deaths over seven weeks.

NY was the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak and the state has had more than 28,000 deaths and 360,000 Covid-19 cases.

As of this writing, there are over 1.5 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 93,558 Covid deaths in the U.S.

Researchers estimate that if nationwide lockdowns were imposed just two weeks earlier, on March 1, a vast majority of coronavirus deaths in the United States - about 83% - could have been avoided, The New York Times reported.

Mayor Bill de Blasio closed city schools on March 15.

The paper says that if restrictions had taken effect on March 8, the NY metropolitan area would have had at least 209,987 fewer cases and 17,514 fewer deaths.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a stay-at-home order to take effect on March 22, The Guardian reported.

"I wish we had known so much more in January, February, the beginning of March".

While reopening, said Shaman, "we have to maintain control of this virus". Or if we had known then the things we know now, what we would have been able to do for people. "Who should have known?", he said to reporters. I don't know. It's not what I do; it's not my responsibility.

These researchers said the simulations illustrate the danger of easing lockdown measures too early, as many experts have noted. "As a outcome, early intervention and fast response are critical", the researchers wrote.

Scientists have said if measures were implemented seven days before March 15th, when most states enacted them, the US could have avoided 700,000 COVID-19 cases and thousands of deaths.

"Efforts to further raise public awareness of the ongoing high transmissibility and explosive growth potential of COVID-19 are still needed at this critical time", the researchers wrote.

"Our results also indicate that without sufficient broader testing and contact tracing capacity, the long lag between infection acquisition and case confirmation masks the rebound and exponential growth of COVID-19 until it is well underway".

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