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A study concludes that the closure of Wuhan occurred “too late”

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Madrid Updated:26/03/2020 18:00h
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An analysis of mobility and epidemiological data conducted by a global consortium of researchers, led by Oxford University and the Northeastern University (Uk), has concluded that the restrictions on travel from the chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic of coronavirus, arrived too late.

According to their findings, the provinces outside of Hubei who acted with haste to perform tests, trace, and contain cases of Covid-19 imported were the best made to prevent or contain local outbreaks.

The geolocation data mobile from Baidu, combined with a set of epidemiological data, showed that the local transmission from person to person occurred widely at the beginning of the outbreak and mitigated with control measures drastic. However, with an incubation period average of 5 days, and up to 14 days in some cases, these restrictions of mobility did not begin to have a positive impact on the data on the new cases for more than a week, and things seemed to get worse in the 5-7 days immediately following the closing, as the local transmission was very advanced.

Among the cases reported outside of Hubei, 515 cases had a known history of travel to Wuhan and a date of onset of symptoms or before January 31, in comparison with only 39 after the 31st of January, which illustrates the effect of the travel restrictions in the decrease of the spread to other chinese provinces.

“Our findings show that at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak travel restrictions were effective to prevent the importation of infections from a known source. However, once cases of Covid-19 began to spread locally, the contribution of the new imports was much lower, “explains Moritz Kraemer, one of the authors of the study, which was published in the journal” Science“.

Travel restrictions and mobility are the most useful at the beginning, when the local transmission still has not become a factor

In this context, the researchers opt for a comprehensive package of measures which is not limited to the restriction of travel, including restrictions to mobility, local, testing, tracking, and isolation. “The chinese provinces and other countries that have managed to stop successfully the internal transmission of Covid-19 must carefully consider how to manage the reinstatement of travel and mobility to prevent the reintroduction and spread of the disease in their populations, “warns, in any case.

In this sense, another of the authors, Samuel V. Scarpino, adds that “the restrictions on travel and mobility are the most useful at the beginning, when the local transmission still has not become a factor”, but that “after establishing the transmission, the estrangement and physical quarantine of the sick will work, but it takes time.”

Translated from ABC News https://www.abc.es/salud/enfermedades/abci-estudio-concluye-cierre-wuhan-produjo-demasiado-tarde-202003261757_noticia.html

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