An analysis of studies across the world revealed that wearing a Mask, hand-washing and social distancing are some of the most effective ways to prevent catching COVID-19 and spreading the disease. Global health care published a massive review Thursday that analyzed 72 studies worldwide to evaluate how non-pharmaceutical health measures reduced cases of COVID-19.
Researchers found measures like hand-washing, wearing Mask and physical distancing significantly reduced incidences of COVID-19. Researchers supported vaccines and agreed they have proven to be safe and effective and can save lives. However, most vaccines do not give people 100% protection, and it’s not known how vaccines will prevent the future spread of COVID-19, given the growing trend of variants like a delta.
There’s also herd immunity to consider as the threshold for achieving it varies significantly by the country and its population response to vaccines, types of vaccines available, and which population groups are prioritized to get a vaccine, among other factors. Public health prevention strategies have also been shown to be beneficial in fighting respiratory infections. Researchers found that wearing a Mask could reduce COVID-19 incidence by 53%.
One experiment across 200 countries showed 45.7 percent fewer COVID-19 related deaths in countries where Mask-wearing was mandatory, according to the study. In the U.S., one study reported a 29 percent reduction in COVID-19 transmission in states where Mask-wearing was required. Social distancing has also proven effective, with researchers finding that an analysis of five different studies indicated a 25 percent reduction in the incidence of COVID-19.