The United States has been the most affected country in the current pandemic with 1.94 million cases of the coronavirus. However, a recent study says that lockdowns prevented about 60 million infections.
According to The Washington Post, researchers analyzed data from six countries, including the U.S., and found that "anti-contagion policies" had a significant effect in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases.
The scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, studied China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, and the U.S. to learn how well government lockdown policies worked in containing the virus.
The researchers estimated that in the early days of COVID-19 infections, the rate of growth was roughly 38% per day. "We found that anti-contagion policies have significantly and substantially slowed this growth," the study reads.
The findings suggest that the strict measures put in place nationwide prevented 4.8 million more confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19, which the authors estimated would actually mean 60 million total infections.
"The magnitudes of these impacts partially reflect the timing, intensity, and extent of policy deployment (e.g., how many localities deployed policies), and the duration for which they have been applied," the study reads.
According to Business Insider, overwhelming evidence shows that lockdowns save lives. In Italy, researchers noted that lockdowns prevented over 200,000 hospitalizations and reduced transmission of the virus by 45%.
A Chinese study revealed that city lockdowns slashed the number of cases by one-third, according to Business Insider.
"Social distancing provided by the lockdowns has clearly slowed the spread of the virus," Jeffrey Morris, director of the biostatistics division at the University of Pennsylvania, told Business Insider.
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