Which measures do something against the virus?


Corona rules in a European comparison

Governments around the world are struggling to properly deal with the coronavirus. An analysis shows when measures bring something – and that individual ones do not work.

Governments around the world are struggling to properly deal with the coronavirus. An analysis shows when measures bring something – and that individual ones do not work.

Germany has been in lockdown for over 70 days. Easing, it is said, is conceivable from March. At the same time, the mutants are spreading rapidly.

 The y could reverse the downtrend again if not properly addressed. © www.de24.news

 The  European neighbors show that.

But what works against the increasing number of cases? After a year of Corona it should actually be clearer what helps and what doesn’t. © www.de24.news

 The  measures of the neighboring countries differ in some cases drastically from the regulations in force in Germany. Which work? Are some tough measures useless because softer ones are enough? We have analyzed all measures since the beginning of the pandemic using data from Oxford University and summarized them in an analysis tool. So you can get an idea for yourself.

© www.de24.news

 The  rag rug

After a year of corona pandemic, a patchwork of measures applies in Europe. We calculated various measures and combinations of restrictions from the data from Oxford University. © www.de24.news

 The  sobering result is that one effective measure does not exist. But a combination of very strict measures looks promising. If a country enacts very strict rules in combination at a time – for example, schools are closed at the same time as workplaces, home offices are arranged and restrictions on personal meetings and sometimes curfews are imposed – the number of new infections usually falls significantly. Even if the measures do not take place at the same time as the neighboring countries and the borders are not closed.

In Germany there are currently a lot of restrictions at the highest level. © www.de24.news

 The  containment index calculated by Oxford University has been very high since December, as the following graph shows.

However, the different strengths of the measures that apply in other European countries can be seen when they are compared. © www.de24.news

 The n Germany, with its low incidence, is comparatively well off.

Explore the measures of European countries in detail!

© www.de24.news

 The  interactive graphic shows the incidence and containment index as well as individual measures in selected European countries in comparison. You can view the individual categories of measures in detail for each country – and sort the countries according to various criteria.

© www.de24.news

 The  data comes from the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. With the Coronavirus Government Response Tracker, scientists are systematically collecting information about the policy measures governments are taking in response to the pandemic. © www.de24.news

 The y combine the individual measures into an index and assign a number from 0 to 100 to each government. 100 means that the toughest measures apply in all categories. 0 means that no measures have been taken against Corona. This includes restrictions such as closing schools, shops and / or workplaces, travel bans and curfews. Two included indicators also provide information on the test strategy of the respective country as well as regulations on mask requirements.

It must be emphasized that the index only provides information about the rules that have been issued, not about how well or poorly they are being observed. “© www.de24.news

 The  effect of the measures depends on numerous factors that influence people’s behavior, such as trust in politics, household structures or how cities are designed,” says Thomas Hale. He leads the Government Response Tracker project and is Professor of Global Public Policy at Oxford University. Certain measures could work well in one country but not at all in another. “Even within Europe it is very difficult to generalize,” says the scientist.

In addition, people often anticipate the measures with their behavior before they are decided. In addition, the number of cases in all countries is likely to be linked to different unreported figures because tests are carried out differently. However, within each country, the values ​​are likely to be relatively stringent over time. © www.de24.news

 The refore, effective measures should be clearly visible across borders

Solitary measures are rarely effective

If you look at the measures in the first wave, it becomes clear above all that uniform, transnational rules are probably more effective than individual national regulations. When the first corona restrictions came into force almost a year ago, the European states simultaneously took largely similar measures. Measures also came into force worldwide within a few weeks. © www.de24.news

 The  number of cases fell within a few weeks – and relatively synchronously. At the moment the situation is completely different – every country tries different regulations. © www.de24.news

 The  measures are sometimes more, sometimes less strong than in the first wave.

Germany’s measures in a European comparison

© www.de24.news

 The  graphic shows Oxford University’s Containment and Health Index since the beginning of the pandemic in the EEA countries as well as in Switzerland and the UK. © www.de24.news

 The  Average of the European countries as well as the value Germany.

Even if it is not easy to evaluate measures against each other: A study on measures in the first wave, which appeared in the trade journal BMJ Open in June, also comes to the conclusion that, above all, strict measures in combination help. © www.de24.news

 The se analyzes show: If contact restrictions such as school closings or exit restrictions come into force, the incidence falls by an average of 13 percent. And: If these restrictions come into force early and at the same time in combination with further contact restrictions, the effect is stronger. Expert Hale is also certain: “Faster, stronger restrictions stop the spread of the virus more effectively than slower, weaker measures,” he says. © www.de24.news

 The re is broad consensus in science.

Stricter measures, fewer deaths?

Corona restrictions not only have an impact on the number of infected people, but also on the number of deaths. In countries with tough measures, on average fewer people died from Covid-19 during the course of the pandemic than in those with weak restrictions. But there are exceptions. © www.de24.news

 The re are also countries that were able to prevent deaths without long and tough measures, such as New Zealand.

© www.de24.news

 The  graph shows the deaths in 170 countries around the world per 100,000 inhabitants who have died since the beginning of the pandemic, in relation to the mean stringency index of Oxford University.

Whether the case of New Zealand has anything to do with its geographical location as an island, with the fact that New Zealand reacted so early and harshly but briefly, whether the New Zealanders better stick to the rules or there was some other reason for the few deaths, these data cannot occupy. © www.de24.news

 The  number of deaths in Estonia is also quite low in relation to the weak measures. But a basic problem of statistics itself also plays a role here: chance remains to a certain extent, there are basically outliers. After all, these are human societies. © www.de24.news

 The y can almost never be pressed into uniform mathematical patterns. © www.de24.news

 The  alarm bell: what role do the mutants play?

Another factor of uncertainty has arisen in the past few weeks. Mutants have been spreading in Europe since December, especially B.1.1.7, which are many times more contagious than the previous variants. In countries where they are widespread, the number of new infections reported has increased rapidly.

It sometimes looks as if the number of cases has become completely decoupled from the political measures. Portugal is a particularly drastic example. © www.de24.news

 The  country has never decided to relax as far as, for example, Germany in the summer. © www.de24.news

 The  measures were tough throughout. In the end, the numbers only fell again when the strictest measures were adopted, including border closings. Germany, too, is now trying to seal itself off from the mutant. Since the proportion of mutants in this country, according to sequencing and projections by the RKI, is 24 percent, it is questionable whether these reactions can still make the decisive difference.

© www.de24.news

 The  roller-coaster

© www.de24.news

 The  only hope besides restrictions on freedom? Knowledge. Other aspects of fighting a pandemic, above all comprehensive testing and genome analyzes, could become even more important now. For Thomas Hale, this question extends beyond the current pandemic. One of the key questions is how governments use lockdown time to make society more resilient as a whole:

Has the time been used to improve testing and tracking systems, optimize emergency medical care and speed up vaccinations? “If so, then we can make progress in controlling the virus,” says Hale. “If not, we passengers will stay on a roller coaster that controls the virus.”

© www.de24.news

 The  authors

Published on February 22, 2021.

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