Social Distancing

Illusory Effects of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions on COVID19 in Europe

June 8, 2020  -  Stefan Homburg, Christof Kuhbandner


Flaxman et al. (Nature, 8 June 2020,, 2020) infer that non-pharmaceutical interventions conducted by several European countries considerably reduced effective reproduction numbers and saved millions of lives. We show that their method is ill-conceived and that the alleged effects are artefacts. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom?s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.

Estimating Effects of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions on COVID-19 in Europe

June 8, 2020

Seth Flaxman, Swapnil Mishra, Axel Gandy, H. Juliette T. Unwin, Thomas A. Mellan, Helen Coupland, Charles Whittaker, Harrison Zhu, Tresnia Berah, Jeffrey W. Eaton, Mélodie Monod, Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, Azra C. Ghani, Christl A. Donnelly, Steven M. Riley, Michaela A. C. Vollmer, Neil M. Ferguson, Lucy C. Okell & Samir Bhatt