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Non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review

Non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review

Perra, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-5559-3064 (2021) Non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: a review. Physics Reports, 913. pp. 1-52. ISSN 0370-1573 (doi:

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Infectious diseases and human behavior are intertwined. On one side, our movements and interactions are the engines of transmission. On the other, the unfolding of viruses might induce changes to our daily activities. While intuitive, our understanding of such feedback loop is still limited. Before COVID-19 the literature on the subject was mainly theoretical and largely missed validation. The main issue was the lack of empirical data capturing behavioral change induced by diseases. Things have dramatically changed in 2020. Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been the key weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and affected virtually any societal process. Travel bans, events cancellation, social distancing, curfews, and lockdowns have become unfortunately very familiar. The scale of the emergency, the ease of survey as well as crowdsourcing deployment guaranteed by the latest technology, several Data for Good programs developed by tech giants, major mobile phone providers, and other companies have allowed unprecedented access to data describing behavioral changes induced by the pandemic.

Here, I review some of the vast literature written on the subject of NPIs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, I analyze 348 articles written by more than 2518 authors in the first 12 months of the emergency. While the large majority of the sample was obtained by querying PubMed, it includes also a hand-curated list. Considering the focus, and methodology I have classified the sample into seven main categories: epidemic models, surveys, comments/perspectives, papers aiming to quantify the effects of NPIs, reviews, articles using data proxies to measure NPIs, and publicly available datasets describing NPIs. I summarize the methodology, data used, findings of the articles in each category and provide an outlook highlighting future challenges as well as opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Non-pharmaceutical interventions; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Behavioral changes
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2023 01:38

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