Medical experts said that if a national lockout in the US had been implemented on March 1 - just two weeks before social distancing policies were adopted in the nation - about 83 percent of fatalities from Covid-19 could have been prevented, based on a report by the New York Times, Wednesday.
Large-scale closure of borders and city lockdowns were carried out as soon as cases of the virus started to increase in the US around middle to late March. Around 20 confirmed fatalities from the COVID-19 were recorded in the early days of the month.
Based on estimates by outbreak modelers at the Columbia University, if the US had immediately set in motion lockdown and social distancing measures a few days in March, approximately 36,000 pandemic deaths could have been avoided.
The first imported coronavirus case in the US was reported on January 20, with community infections confirmed in the ensuing weeks. But a major lack of a citywide testing program during that time enabled the disease to rapidly make its way undetected in several key areas around the nation, Northeastern University researchers disclosed to The Times recently.
There was a huge difference, Jeffrey Shaman, the epidemiologist who spearheaded the Columbia research team, told The Times, as reported by Lauren Frias of the Business Insider. "That small moment in time... is incredibly critical in cutting the number of deaths."
The modeling indicates that as certain federal restrictions continue to ease across the US mainland, authorities need to be informed just how big the rate of coronavirus spread is to be able to quickly verify any potential critical zones. As of late Wednesday, over 1.5 million confirmed cases of the disease in the US with 93,383 fatalities were reported.
In another virus modeling, British scientist James Annan said that imposing lockdowns in Europe days before the first cases of coronavirus were reported would have greatly cut the volume of deaths by three-quarters. Annan, from Blueskiesresearch.org.uk, stressed that an earlier intervention measure would not have greatly impacted the global economy.
The month of March has proved to be a very critical moment for coordinated efforts from government officials and health experts from the private and public sector, as Covid-19 cases soared in the country as April came.
United States President Donald Trump, meanwhile, continued to understate the dangers of the dreaded disease that have since ravaged most of the country's economy, and even floated the notion the pandemic was caused by some lab test gone awry.