In contrast, three of the four countries – the United States, Brazil, and India – with the world’s highest mortality fees and number of cases have never closed or reopened properly before the numbers began to drop.
The EU has officially adopted a series of recommendations from 15 countries, which it considered safe enough to allow its residents to enter their territory on Tuesday. To enter the list, countries need to tick a number of boxes: their new cases per 100,000 citizens in the past 14 days should be similar to or below the EU, and they should have a stable or declining trend of new cases compared to the previous 14 days.
The bloc will also consider what measures countries have taken, such as contact tracking, and how reliable each country’s data is.
The list includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. China, where the virus appeared, is also on the list, but the EU will enter China only on condition of mutual regulations.
“I don’t think any human effort saved so much life in such a short time. There were huge personal costs to stay at home and cancel events, but data shows that every day makes a big difference.” Solomon Hsiang, lead author of the study, professor and director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.
How successful a lockout is depends on a variety of reasons, including whether it was implemented early enough. The two deadlocks are not alike, so people in countries such as Italy or Spain were fined if they went out of their home for something else for basic reasons, while staying in Japan was a proposal rather than an order.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand were quick to restrict travels; In other countries such as Algeria, Georgia and Morocco, children were the first to see the impact of the outbreak when closing schools.
Other measures include home orders, non-mandatory store closings, quarantine and isolation. Some countries, such as Algeria, Rwanda, Montenegro and China, have seen epidemics after the restrictions were lifted. This pushed the authorities to re-implement some measures locally.
In China, the capital city, Beijing, was placed under a partial lock last month following a new cluster of food markets. Montenegro brought back bans on mass events last week after a new case broke out after being virus-free for three weeks. And in Rwanda, health authorities put a number of villages under renewed lockdown after new cases appeared there last week.
However, the restrictions introduced to counteract the disease also damaged the economy and further increased existing inequalities in education and the workplace, as well as between genders, races and socio-economic backgrounds.
As stores and schools shut down and almost all travels stopped, hundreds of millions of people around the world suddenly found unemployed. The impact on the economy is one of the reasons why some leaders, including US President Donald Trump, have been pushed to reopen quickly, although experts in infectious diseases have warned of removing restrictions too early.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of lives scientists said were rescued due to crashes. Corrected.
Aleesha Khaliq, Dario Klein, Shasta Darlington, Rodrigo Pedroso, Manveena Suri, Paula Newton, Yoko Wakatsuki, Milena Veselinovic and Kocha Olarn reported.