During the study, scientists from London built two main scenarios for the spread of the disease – a complete rejection of quarantine and social isolation of people. When forecasting the consequences of a pandemic, scientists collected data from 177 countries about contact patterns among people of different age groups and the correlation of these indicators with the severity of COVID-19 in the country.
The maximum possible number of deaths from a coronavirus pandemic in 2020 can be about 40 million people, scientists say. Such a mortality rate can occur if the governments of all countries completely refuse to completely isolate people from each other.
At the same time, the indicator can be halved if people reduce their social contacts by 40%, and older people reduce social communication by 60%. In the event that governments at an early stage of a pandemic reduce the number of interpersonal contacts by 75-80%, this will help save more than 39 million lives.
Scientists note that the introduction of complete social isolation is necessary precisely at an early stage in the development of the epidemic. Otherwise, this can be an absolutely ineffective measure.