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periods of isolation lasting no longer than 50 days would be ineffective

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Last weekend, new confinement began in France throughout the territory. While this type of method has been adopted by many countries to deal with the current health crisis, a recent study points to the ineffectiveness of periods of isolation of less than 50 days.

A study going against the grain

Around the world, local authorities, but also many companies and other bodies such as the WHO support measures against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. These are the wearing of a mask, screening, personal precautions (eg: hygiene) or social distancing. However, for a significant number of people, social distancing is synonymous with isolation. Researchers from several Brazilian universities published a study in the journal Scientific reports on March 5, 2021. These studies attempted to determine whether or not the fact of isolating oneself at home makes it possible to really curb the circulation of the virus.

More specifically, it is a mathematical model whose objective is to understand the relationship between containment and the reduction (or increase) in the number of deaths linked to the virus. The researchers also explain having integrated data from 87 countries in an analysis using the linear regression method. This aims to establish a linear relationship between a so-called “explained” variable and one or more other so-called “explanatory” variables.

The authors of the study recall that until January 2021, the coronavirus made more than 2 million victims. Various mathematical models and other meta-analyzes have already evoked a reduction in coronavirus cases as well as in the death rate thanks to the lockdowns. Nevertheless, Brazilian researchers believe that confinement has not played a major role in limiting the transmission of the disease.

Credit: JPC38 / Wikipedia

Effective only after 50 days

Importantly, the study leaders indicate that the isolation had positive consequences, but only in the case of a duration greater than 50 days. The same goes for face masks, regular hand washing and early detection of cases, in particular by means of PCR tests. In other words, the measures cited would be ineffective if it is a question of a duration of less than 50 days. Finally, if these results seem rather curious, these do not explain the impact of confinement on the death rate.

More than a year after the appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, France has started its third general confinement April 3, 2021. Shops deemed non-essential are required to close their doors and travel is limited to 10 km. Let us also mention the fact that, for the first time since the confinement of spring 2020, nurseries and schools will close for three to four weeks. However, this is a confinement lasting less than 50 days. Will it work? Only the future will tell us.


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