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😷 Face Masks and Lockdowns Did Help to Control Covid-19
A major report by the UK’s Royal Society has affirmed the effectiveness of non-vaccine measures, including mask-wearing, lockdowns, and trace and isolate protocols, in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures have successfully slowed the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The measures saved lives by preventing many people from being infected before scientists could develop and manufacture vaccines. How well these interventions worked varied depending on how and when they were implemented. However, they were still unequivocally effective, particularly when used in combination and when infection levels were low.
For instance, countries in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, which had faced recent outbreaks like SARS, MERS, and avian influenza, leveraged their experience to adopt a strategic approach. They aimed to reduce transmission and slow the infection’s spread swiftly. These nations promptly enforced strict non-pharmaceutical interventions, followed by Australia and New Zealand.
The study underscores the importance of non-vaccine measures in managing pandemics and highlights the significance of taking proactive actions to save lives without perfect evidence.
“We saw the importance of quick and decisive action,” says Salim Abdool Karim from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. “You can’t wait until you get perfect evidence. You’ve got to act and act decisively and make these difficult decisions.”
As the world prepares for future health crises, these findings offer valuable guidance for policymakers.
Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney.