2021-06-20Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/9344
Systematic review of empirical studies comparing the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19
El Bcheraoui, Charbel
Objectives: To evaluate which non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been more and less effective in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We performed a systematic review of published and unpublished empirical studies, either ob- servational or interventional, analysing the comparative effectiveness of NPIs against the COVID-19 pan- demic. We searched Embase/Medline and medRxiv to identify the relevant literature. Results: We identified 34 studies. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closing was the most effective NPI, followed by workplace closing, business and venue closing and public event bans. Public information campaigns and mask wearing requirements were also effective in controlling the pan- demic while being less disruptive for the population than other NPIs. There was no evidence on the effectiveness of public transport closure, testing and contact tracing strategies and quarantining or isola- tion of individuals. Early implementation was associated with a higher effectiveness in reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths, while general stringency of the NPIs was not. Conclusions: In this systematic review, we found that school closing, followed by workplace closing, busi- ness and venue closing and public event bans were the most effective NPIs in controlling the spread of COVID-19. An early response and a combination of specific social distancing measures are effective at reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths. Continuous monitoring of NPIs effectiveness is needed in order to adapt decision making.
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