A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.
The peer reviewed study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation on January 5, and analyzed coronavirus case growth in 10 countries in early 2020.
The study compared cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. – all countries that implemented mandatory lockdown orders and business closures – to South Korea and Sweden, which instituted less severe, voluntary responses.
Researchers determined that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”
The study was conducted by researchers affiliated with Stanford University, and was co-authored by Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine and economics who has been a vocal opponent of coronavirus lockdowns since March.