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Understanding the effectiveness of government interventions against the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe

Sharma, Mrinank, Mindermann, Sören, Rogers-Smith, Charlie, Leech, Gavin, Snodin, Benedict, Ahuja, Janvi, Sandbrink, Jonas B., Monrad, Joshua Teperowski, Altman, George, Dhaliwal, Gurpreet, Finnveden, Lukas, Norman, Alexander John, Oehm, Sebastian B., Sandkühler, Julia Fabienne, Aitchison, Laurence, Gavenčiak, Tomáš, Mellan, Thomas, Kulveit, Jan, Chindelevitch, Leonid, Flaxman, Seth, Gal, Yarin, Mishra, Swapnil, Bhatt, Samir and Brauner, Jan Markus (2021) Understanding the effectiveness of government interventions against the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe. Nature Communications, 12 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41467-021-26013-4


European governments use non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to control resurging waves of COVID-19. However, they only have outdated estimates for how effective individual NPIs were in the first wave. We estimate the effectiveness of 17 NPIs in Europe’s second wave from subnational case and death data by introducing a flexible hierarchical Bayesian transmission model and collecting the largest dataset of NPI implementation dates across Europe. Business closures, educational institution closures, and gathering bans reduced transmission, but reduced it less than they did in the first wave. This difference is likely due to organisational safety measures and individual protective behaviours—such as distancing—which made various areas of public life safer and thereby reduced the effect of closing them. Specifically, we find smaller effects for closing educational institutions, suggesting that stringent safety measures made schools safer compared to the first wave. Second-wave estimates outperform previous estimates at predicting transmission in Europe’s third wave.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 14:42
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 19:03

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