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Public health

Banning travel alone will not stop the pandemic

Public health measures, such as testing, are essential to controlling the spread of COVID-19

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Public health actions, such as early testing, washing hands, social distancing, and self-isolation are likely to be more effective in reducing the transmission rate of the SARS-CoV-2 virus than simply reducing national and international travel. This is the result of a modeling study by an international team led by physicist Alessandro Vespignani, from Northeastern University, USA (Science, April 24). Based on epidemiological data from the city of Wuhan, China, from between January 23 and March 1, the researchers calculated that the cancellation of up to 90% of flights only had a lasting impact on COVID-19’s advance through the community when accompanied by other measures capable of reducing the spread of the virus by up to 50%.