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Limiting physical contacts reduces coronavirus infection risk

Published : 20 Mar 2020, 01:55

Updated : 20 Mar 2020, 10:28

  DF Report

File Photo Xinhua.

Limiting contacts among people can affect both the duration of the coronavirus epidemic and the number of daily infections.

This can be seen from the modelling jointly carried out by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the University of Turku, said THL in a press release on Thursday.

Based on the modelling, Finland began to reduce contacts among people by banning events for over 500 people and by reducing contacts related to recreational activities.

At the same time, information on the need to protect older people was increased.

“Without restrictive measures, each infected person could infect 2.2 new people on an average. When the above restrictions are applied, the figure drops to 1.8. The additional restrictions announced this week will further decrease this figure,” said Professor Kari Auranen from the University of Turku.

Restrictive measures can slow down the course of an epidemic so that its duration may become considerably longer. Without restrictive measures, the duration was estimated to be approximately three months. The number of infections at the highest point of the epidemic also decreases as the peak of the epidemic spreads over a longer period of time.

“It is important to slow down the course of the epidemic and to lower the peak of infections so that the capacity of the healthcare services is sufficient to treat the seriously ill. A majority has mild symptoms and can recuperate at home, but some of the patients may need hospital care,” said THL Chief Physician Tuija Leino.

“Closing down schools helps in slowing down the epidemic and reducing infections of the ageing population to some extent. Reducing infections for the elderly by various means is important, as coronavirus can cause a more serious disease for them in particular, which may require hospitalisation,” said Auranen.