Are countries precautionary actions against COVID-19 effective? An assessment study of 175 countries worldwide

Abstract

Background
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected many countries negatively, particularly in terms of their health care and financial systems. Numerous countries have attempted to employ precautions to address this pandemic.
Objective
This study was aimed at exploring and assessing the precautionary actions taken by 175 countries on six continents to prevent the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Methods
An observational study was conducted based on data collected during the period from December 31, 2019, until the end of April 2020. Several data were extracted, including information related to the date of the first reported case of SARS-CoV-2, total confirmed cases, total active cases, and more. In addition, seven validated indicators were used to assess the countries preparedness and precautionary actions.
Results
A total of 175 countries were included in the study. The total COVID-19 infection rate increased exponentially and rapidly in North America and Europe from March to April. The application of the precautions (indicators) varied between countries. School closures, quarantines and curfews were the most applied indicators among all countries. As for the relationship between the indicators and their effects on the infection rate, Italy and Spain were the top countries in Europe and adopted all indicators. Nevertheless, they faced high infection rates: 239,639 and 205,463 COVID-19 cases in Spain, and Italy, respectively.

Conclusion
The precautionary actions might have played a role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in several countries. However, many countries did not benefit from applying these indicators.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

The study was not funded

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.

Yes

The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

The study has no human involvement, therefore, the study was exempted due to the nature of the study

All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.

Yes

I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).

Yes

I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.

Yes

Data Availability

The data are available with the corresponding author he will make them available whenever needed

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