Coronavirus: does quarantine help containment?

Coronavirus: does quarantine help containment?

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What measures can protect us from COVID-19?

A new overview summarizes findings from model studies of how quarantine affects the spread of COVID-19. It turned out that quarantine plays an important role in controlling the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

In the current evaluation of various studies by the non-profit organization Cochrane Collaboration, it was found that quarantine can effectively curb the spread of COVID-19. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews".

Quarantine helps control the spread of corona

The studies included in the overview unanimously conclude that quarantine can play an important role in controlling the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Introducing quarantine early and combining it with other public health measures could curb the spread of the disease, but there is still great uncertainty about how best to implement these measures and when to ease them.

There are still no drugs against Covid-19

There are currently no effective drugs or vaccines to treat COVID-19. For this reason, restrictive health measures such as isolation, physical distance and quarantine have been taken in a number of countries to limit the transmission of the virus.

How useful is quarantine?

The researchers used abbreviated systematic overview methods to clarify various questions regarding the effects of quarantine on the spread of COVID-19. These questions included, for example, whether the quarantine of asymptomatic individuals who have come into contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 can effectively contain the outbreak of COVID-19.

Further questions should be clarified

Other questions that the researchers wanted to clarify were, for example, whether there are differences in the effectiveness of quarantine in different environments and how effective quarantine is in combination with other interventions. The researchers also looked at whether quarantine of people coming from a country with a COVID-19 outbreak can be effective in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak.

Results of 29 examinations were evaluated

29 relevant studies were evaluated. Of these, ten studies focused on COVID-19. 15 studies examined related findings on SARS. Two research studies looked at SARS and other viruses, and two other studies looked at MERS.

Quarantine measures had a positive impact

The ten studies that looked at COVID-19 were all model studies that simulated outbreak scenarios in China, the UK, and South Korea, as well as on a cruise ship. These COVID-19 studies included in the overview consistently report a positive benefit from quarantine measures and show results similar to studies on SARS and MERS.

Effects of quarantine

Therefore, the researchers concluded that quarantining people who are exposed to confirmed cases can prevent high rates of infection and death compared to taking no action. The effect of quarantining travelers from a country with a reported outbreak to avert transfers and deaths was minimal.

Combining quarantine and other measures has had the greatest success

In general, the combination of quarantine with other preventive and control measures, such as school closures, travel restrictions, and physical isolation, had a greater impact on reducing transfers, severe cases requiring treatment in intensive care units, and deaths compared to quarantine alone. The researchers also announced that more comprehensive and early implementation of preventive and control measures could be more effective in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Were there any restrictions in the study?

According to the research group, the results should be viewed critically due to the way in which the models used in the studies were developed. They are based on assumptions about the actual prevalence of the infection, which could be updated if more is known about this aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The best possible balance of measures is very important

The analysis of the evaluated studies shows that the quarantine can help curb the outbreak of COVID-19, but the situation on site has to be constantly monitored in order to maintain the best possible balance of the existing measures. This is the only way to find an acceptable compromise between benefit and harm, the researchers report. (as)

Read also: Corona: Plan to return to normal presented.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Barbara Nussbaumer ‐ Streit, Verena Mayr, Andreea Iulia Dobrescu, Andrea Chapman, Emma Persad et al .: Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control COVID ‐ 19: a rapid review, in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (published 08.04 .2020), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Video: Tips for self-quarantining because of coronavirus (May 2022).