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You are here: Home / Teams / Vanhems P - PHE3ID / Actualités / Experience from five Asia-Pacific countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: Mitigation strategies and epidemiology outcomes

Experience from five Asia-Pacific countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: Mitigation strategies and epidemiology outcomes

Travel Med Infect Dis.

Equipe PHE3ID-P.Vanhems

 

Abstract

Background: With no vaccines or specific treatments, non-pharmaceutical interventions are the only tools for controlling the human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 disease, which appeared in Wuhan, China last December and has spread globally since. Here we describe and compare the first-wave mitigation strategies and epidemiology of five Asia-Pacific countries that responded rapidly to the epidemic.

Methods: From January to April 2020, mitigation measures and epidemiological data for Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong were screened from official local government websites and a review of investigational studies was conducted. Daily case reports and mitigation measures information were extracted. Epidemiological estimates were calculated and compared between countries.

Results: All five countries combined measures, focusing on contact tracing, testing, isolation efforts and healthcare management. Epidemiological data varied temporally and geographically: incubation period ranged 3.9-7.1 days, effective reproduction number at time t (Rt) ranged 0.48-1.5, with intensive care admissions 1-3% of hospitalised patients, and case fatality rates were 0.1-3%. Extrinsic estimates to the virus were lower than global estimates.

Conclusion: Implemented mitigation strategies in these countries allowed a rapid and successful control or delay of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. These are valuable examples to inform subsequent waves.

Keywords: Asia; COVID-19; Epidemiology; First wave; Mitigation strategies.

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