Shorten Social Distance To 1 Meter Or Double Risk Of New Crown Infection

- Jun 02, 2020-

Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped to "shorten the distance (2 meters)," make it easier to travel by public transport, and promote the development of the hotel industry. This will allow more people to enter the workplace, restaurants, bars and shops, and reduce the time in line.

The prime minister has directed the Scientific Advisory Group on emergencies (SAGE) to study this possibility.

The UK's guidance is inconsistent with the recommendations of most other countries and the World Health Organization, which recommends that people should keep a distance of 1 meter.

It is followed closely by France, while countries such as Germany and Australia have a 1.5m rule.

Business people have warned that although the current blockade measures have been relaxed, their company may be unsustainable if the 2-meter social distance rule is not shortened.

Greg Clark, chairman of the Special Committee on science and technology of the house of Commons, told the daily telegraph that he had written to Johnson urging him to urgently examine the possibility of reducing the distance to 1.5m.

"The gap between 2 meters and 1.5 meters looks small, but it could be the difference between people being able to work and losing their jobs," Clark said.

Last month Yvonne Doyle, medical director of the UK's Department of public health, told the committee that Phe was studying "whether 2 meters is really necessary or can be further reduced".

Social distance is based on how far respiratory droplets can travel when people cough or sneeze. However, there are still many different opinions on this number.

Although the UK is eager to relax the social distance control, a recent paper published in the Lancet journal gives the opposite result: shortening the social distance proposal from 2 meters to 1 meter may double the risk of new coronavirus infection.

Novel coronavirus pneumonia, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) were analyzed in a meta-analysis, emphasizing the potential consequences of this change.

The authors of the paper, published in the lancet, analyzed nine studies involving 7782 participants, which were related to three viruses and their required social distance, and reached a "certain degree of certainty" conclusion.

The study found that staying more than one meter away from others reduced the risk of infection to 3%, while standing within one meter increased the risk to 13%.

The model also shows that within 3 meters, the risk of infection or transmission may be halved for each additional meter.

Professor Holger Schunemann of McMaster University in Canada, who led the study, told the guardian: "we have a suggestion that a distance of 2 meters may be more effective than a distance of 1 meter."

Linda baud, a professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the study, said: "the most useful finding is that it's important to keep physical distance. Many people complain that the UK has too much guidance for a distance of 2 meters because it has more than any other country. But this review supports that view. "

"Maintaining this distance may reduce the risk compared to 1 meter. So, if possible, that's the distance retailers and employers should use, because more places and workplaces will reopen in the future. It can be very difficult in some cases, but it's important that we all get used to this distance in the coming months. "

The study also mentions the debate about masks.

Based on 10 studies involving 2647 participants, they found that the risk of infection or transmission was 3% with masks and 17% without masks, although they said the level of certainty was "low.".

The researchers also found that wearing protective goggles, such as masks, goggles and glasses, had similar benefits, but were not sure.

The study found that compared with surgical masks, respirator masks can better prevent the spread of the virus to medical staff.

The authors also found that multi-layer masks are more effective than single-layer masks, which may help guide people to make their own masks at home.

Compiling / prospective economist app information group