(PatrioticPost.com)- A new study has revealed that stay-at-home orders and other shutdowns across the country prevented approximately 60 million more people from getting infected with coronavirus.
The study was published Monday in Nature, a scientific journal. To get to its conclusions, it used a modeling technique that is typically used to estimate economic growth, and it did so to analyze shutdown policies in the United States, Italy, France, Iran, South Korea and China.
The study predicted that if coronavirus-related restrictions hadn’t been put into place, there would have been a total of more than 500 million more coronavirus infections in the six countries. China would have had the most, with 285 million more, following by the U.S. (60 million), Iran (54 million), Italy (49 million), France (45 million) and South Korea (38 million).
The study only looked at dates through April 6, but the lead author of the study, Solomon Hsiang, said keeping restrictions in place after that date has likely led to the prevention of possibly millions more of coronavirus infections.
In a press release sent on Monday, Hsiang, who is a professor and director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said:
“The last several months have been extraordinarily difficult, but through our individual sacrifices, people everywhere have each contributed to one of humanity’s greatest collective achievements. I don’t think any human endeavor ever has saved so many lives in such a short period of time.
“There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference. By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history.”
The data the researchers used in the study included daily infection rates, changes in the definitions of coronavirus cases as well as the timing of all 1,717 policy deployments throughout the six countries in question. These policies include social distancing measures, stay-at-home orders as well as other restrictions on travel.
The researchers used the data to analyze how the daily growth rate of coronavirus infections could’ve possibly changed over time for a specific location if these large-scale policies were never enacted. Before policies were put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus, the growth rate of infections was roughly 38% per day on average for all countries except Iran.
The study concluded that the shutdowns in the six countries either delayed or altogether prevented 530 million total coronavirus infections, which would have resulted in roughly 62 million confirmed cases, based on how cases were defined as well as on testing procedures. As the researchers wrote:
“Our empirical results indicate that large-scale anti-contagion policies are slowing the COVID-19 pandemic. Because infection rates in the countries we study would have initially followed rapid exponential growth had no policies been applied, our results suggest that these policies have provided large health benefits.
“Our analysis focuses on confirmed infections, but other outcomes, such as hospitalizations or deaths, are also of policy interest. Future work on these outcomes may require additional modeling approaches because they are relatively more context- and state-dependent.”