more than three million deaths are avoided in Europe due to containment

According to a British study, published on Monday, containment measures have prevented 3.1 million deaths in eleven European countries. Belgium would have the highest infection rate, with 8% of the population, against 0.85% for Germany.

The containment measures that were decided to deal with Covid-19 were effective in regaining control of the pandemic and made it possible to avoid 3.1 million deaths in 11 European countries, estimates a study published on Monday.

This study is conducted by Imperial College London, whose researchers advise the UK government on the health crisis, and analyzes the key actions taken in 11 countries, including France, such as banning public events, restricting travel or closing shops and schools.

“Measuring the effectiveness of these measures is important given their economic and social impact,” the authors emphasize, while the size of the security effects of containment is regularly emphasized and that some voices are being raised, especially in the UK, requiring acceleration of the lifting of restrictions.

A declining virus reproduction rate

The researchers compared the number of deaths recorded in the database of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control with the number of deaths that would have occurred in the absence of control measures, estimated by mathematical modeling.

Their article, published in the journal Nature, also estimates that they have made it possible to reduce on average the rate of reproduction of the virus (the number of new people infected by each infected person), which allows them to return it below 1, the threshold below which the number of new cases decrease.

The researchers also estimate that on May 4, 12 to 15 million people were infected with Covid-19 (or 3.2% to 4% of the population on average, with significant variations depending on country).

In Europe, Belgium was particularly affected

Belgium would therefore have the highest rate of infection, with 8% of the population receiving the coronavirus, followed by Spain (5.5%), the UK (5.1%) and Italy (4.6%).

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This figure would be 3.4% in France. Conversely, only 710,000 Germans have infected the virus, or 0.85% of the population.

The authors point out that because the measures followed each other on a short schedule, it is difficult to assess the effects of each of them separately.

However, they conclude that “containment had a significant effect” on the control of the epidemic.

The 11 countries studied are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland.

With AFP