The benefits, costs and feasibility of a low incidence COVID-19 strategy Health Policy

Thomas Czypionka, Emil Nafis Iftekhar, Barbara Prainsack, Viola Priesemann, Simon Bauer, André Calero Valdez, Sarah Cuschieri, Enrico Glaab, Eva Grill, Jenny Krutzinna, Christos Lionis, Helena Machado, Carlos Martins, George Pavlakis, Matjaž Perc, Elena Petelos, Martyn Pickersgill, Alexander Skupin, Eva Schernhammer, Ewa SzczurekSotirios Tsiodras, Peter Willeit, Paul Wilmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the summer of 2021, European governments removed most NPIs after experiencing prolonged second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most countries failed to achieve immunization rates high enough to avoid resurgence of the virus. Public health strategies for autumn and winter 2021 have ranged from countries aiming at low incidence by re-introducing NPIs to accepting high incidence levels. However, such high incidence strategies almost certainly lead to the very consequences that they seek to avoid: restrictions that harm people and economies. At high incidence, the important pandemic containment measure ‘test-trace-isolate-support’ becomes inefficient. At that point, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its numerous harmful consequences can likely only be controlled through restrictions. We argue that all European countries need to pursue a low incidence strategy in a coordinated manner. Such an endeavour can only be successful if it is built on open communication and trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100294
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health Europe
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022

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