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1.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 12(4): 1-6, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081652

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unexpected disturbance in healthcare systems as well as medical education worldwide. This article aims to provide an overview of the circumstances experienced by medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic. As this disease can cause life-threatening conditions, it has presented challenges to medical educators and students as they must adapt to changes in their medical education to ensure lectures are given safely as well as effectively. Many medical students feel the sudden change in their education system impacted their training negatively; 74% of students surveyed by members of McGill University reported a decrease in the quality of their education since the start of COVID-19. As well as a negative impact on medical education, this pandemic has caused unprecedented psychological stress on numerous people around the world, especially individuals in the medical field. 48% of medical students at a Canadian university reported feeling more depressed since the onset of COVID-19. The sudden changes, isolation, and worries about health have impacted students' mental health drastically. On the other hand, some students have reported that this pandemic has made a positive impact on their mental health as they had more time to focus on their mental well-being and they felt an overall reduction in pressure and stress. As COVID-19 remains to impact individuals worldwide, effective strategies towards improving mental health and quality of education should be provided to medical students affected by the challenges of this pandemic.

2.
Curr Cardiol Rev ; 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993654

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has become a worldwide pandemic. Since 2019, the virus has mutated into multiple variants that have made it harder to eradicate and have increased the rate of infection. This virus can affect the structure and the function of the heart and can lead to cardiovascular symptoms that can have long-lasting effects despite recovery from COVID-19. These symptoms include chest pain, palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, arrhythmias, cough or hypotension. These symptoms may persist due to myocardial injury, cardiac inflammation, or systemic damage that may have been caused during infection. If these symptoms persist, the patient should visit their cardiologist for diagnosis and treatment plan for any type of cardiovascular disease that may have developed Post-COVID 19.

3.
Cureus ; 14(4): e23951, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954854

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant psychological and economical distress. Within a year after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, several vaccines against COVID-19 were approved for emergency use. The journey from vaccine discovery to global herd immunity against COVID-19 continues to present significant challenges revolving around its development, affordability, accessibility, and acceptability at both a country level and an individual level. The main challenge faced by developed countries is the acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the main challenge faced by developing countries is the affordability and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine.

4.
Indian J Crit Care Med ; 26(6): 696-703, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911931

ABSTRACT

Purpose: End-organ damage in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is linked to "cytokine storm" and excessive release of inflammatory mediators. Various novel therapies have been used in COVID-19 including urinary trypsin inhibitor therapy. This study explores the efficacy of ulinastatin in COVID-19. Materials and methods: We retrieved the medical records of patients admitted during one month and did a propensity score analysis to create matched treatment and control groups. We analyzed these groups and the outcomes were presented with appropriate statistics. Survival curve was prepared to compare the survival effect of ulinastatin therapy at the end of hospitalization, among both the groups. Results: A total of 736 patients were admitted, and after adjusting the data with propensity score matching, 55 cases were selected by the system. On the final outcome analysis, we found that intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay [median (interquartile range) days 3 (3.5-7.8) vs 2 (0-4); p-value 0.28] in control vs intervention groups, and in hospital mortality (odds ratio: 0.491, CI 95%: 0.099-2.44, p-value 0.435) were not statistically different among the groups. In survival plot analysis also, there was no statistical difference (p-value 0.414) among both the groups.Conclusion: In this retrospective study, we conclude that the final outcome of the ICU length of stay, and overall, in hospital mortality were not different among both the groups. Hence, adequately powered randomized control trials are urgently required to confirm any benefit of ulinastatin therapy in COVID-19 treatment. How to cite this article: Jain A, Kasliwal R, Jain SS, Jain R, Gupta D, Gupta P, et al. Effect of Urinary Trypsin Inhibitor (Ulinastatin) Therapy in COVID-19. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022;26(6):696-703.

5.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 11(6): 733-739, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517743

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered innumerable lives. Although recent mass vaccinations offer a glimmer of hope, the rising death toll and new variants continue to dominate the current scenario. As we begin to understand more about SARS-CoV-2 infections, the territory of reinfections with COVID-19 remains unexplored. In this review, we will discuss several aspects of reinfection: (a) How is COVID-19 reinfection characterized? (b) Does prior literature differentiate between reinfection and reactivation? (c) What SARS-CoV-2 strains do the vaccines target and can they protect against new strains? Larger and longer timeline studies are needed to understand reinfection risks. With the ongoing distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to provide protection, the understanding of the possibility for SARS-CoV-2 reinfection remains critical. Abbreviations CDC: Centers for Disease ControlSARS-CoV-2: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019RT-PCR: Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain ReactionPASC: Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

6.
Ochsner J ; 21(2): 177-180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296379

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not just a disease of the respiratory system. The virus can affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract as well. Recognizing the various manifestations in every organ system is important because these manifestations can contribute to community-based transmission. Methods: We outline the evidence of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in the GI tract, the effects of the virus on the gut and liver, the presence of the virus in stool samples, and the potential for fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19. Most of the literature sources used in this paper are case studies from China following the surge of COVID-19 infection. Results: In patients with COVID-19, GI symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain have presented in conjunction with respiratory symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Evidence also shows acute hepatocellular injury, indicated by elevated liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase. Fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 is suspected because of the presence of COVID-19 RNA in stool samples of COVID-19-positive patients. Conclusion: Even without the presence of respiratory symptoms, several GI symptoms are associated with COVID-19 infection, as well as possible fecal-oral transmission. Therefore, COVID-19 infection should be considered for patients presenting with primarily GI symptoms.

7.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(5)2021 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242198

ABSTRACT

We describe the case of a 65-year-old male who presented to an outside hospital for shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting 8 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Initial workup revealed massive bilateral pulmonary emboli and thrombocytopenia. The patient was then admitted to our hospital, received an inferior vena cava filter and initially started on argatroban for autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) prophylaxis. On hospital stay day 6, labs revealed a diagnosis of HIT in the setting of COVID-19. This case highlights the rare occurrence of a patient developing HIT without heparin exposure and in the setting of a novel infectious agent, COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombocytopenia , Aged , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Pipecolic Acids , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced
8.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 11(3): 296-298, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223259

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 epidemic has impacted medical education for medical students worldwide. As medical students are already vulnerable to poor psychological well-being, the mental health of medical students may be significantly affected by the changes caused by COVID-19. Objective: In this article, we discuss the curriculum and mental health ramifications of the COVID-19 epidemic on the international medical school population Methods: In this review, we analyzed 13 studies evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on medical school curriculum, medical student mental health, and subsequent medical student coping strategies. Results: Early in the COVID-19 outbreak, the Association of American Medical Colleges recommended to pause all student clinical rotations, while in-person curriculum moved to virtual modalities. Students expressed concern over their abilities to explore specialties of interest and their confidence in becoming a competent doctor. Medical students also reported higher levels of anxiety, stress, and exhaustion, with female students reporting this more than male students. Students have been coping with these challenges in quarantine through engaging in physical activity, spending time outdoors, and video chats. Conclusion: Medical education institutions must address the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of their students in order to mitigate related consequences.

9.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 11(2): 187-193, 2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1149882

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019, caused by the virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a pandemic first discovered in Wuhan, China which has claimed over 1.7 million lives to date across the globe as of 24 December 2020. As the virus spreads across the world affecting millions of patients, there has been a massive movement to discover readily available and effective treatment options including vaccines. One of the limiting factors in treating the disease is its varied presentation and effect in patients, ranging from asymptomatic patients to those left in intensive care units, intubated and fighting for their lives. There are numerous clinical trials and small-scale studies underway to investigate potential treatment options. However, very few studies and drugs demonstrated efficacy while many more are under investigation, leaving care teams dependent on supportive care coupled with experimental treatment options. In this review, we summarize the various treatment options explored to treat COVID-19, discussing possible the mechanisms of fighting the virus.

10.
J Lab Physicians ; 13(1): 58-63, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129319

ABSTRACT

Context Due to the wide spectrum of clinical illness in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, it is important to stratify patients into severe and nonsevere categories. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have been evaluated rapidly by a few studies worldwide for its association with severe disease, but practically none have been conducted in the Indian population. This study was undertaken to examine the role of NLR and PLR in predicting severe disease in Indian patients. Objectives The objective was to study the association of NLR and PLR observed at the time of admission with maximum disease severity during hospitalization and to study their role in predicting disease severity. Material and Methods A total of 229 COVID-19 patients were admitted at the center during the study period. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 191 patients were included in the study. The demographic, clinical, and laboratory (complete blood count, NLR, and PLR) data of all patients were obtained at the time of admission. Maximum disease severity of all patients was assessed during hospitalization. Statistical Analysis Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess statistical significance. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was plotted for NLR and PLR to estimate the cutoff values and sensitivity and specificity using Youden's index for predicting severe disease. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals. Results Mean NLR and PLR were significantly higher in severe patients (NLR = 7.41; PLR = 204) compared with nonsevere patients (NLR = 3.30; PLR = 121). ROC analysis showed that NLR, in comparison to PLR, had a higher area under the curve (AUC) of 0.779, with a larger OR of 1.237 and cutoff of 4.1, and showed 69% sensitivity and 78% specificity in predicting severe disease. Cut off for PLR was 115.3, which showed 79% sensitivity and 62% specificity in predicting severe disease. Conclusion NLR and PLR, both showing acceptable AUCs, can be used as screening tools to predict disease severity. However, NLR was a better predictor of disease severity.

11.
J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect ; 11(1): 107-110, 2021 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054224

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 has altered numerous lives and accounted for significant mortality and morbidity throughout the world and, especially, the USA. During the pandemic, from mid-March to July 2020, around one-fourth of the US population filed for unemployment benefits. Objective: In this article, we discuss the economic ramifications exposed in the American healthcare system's current model by the COVID-19 crisis. Methods: In this review, we analyze 18 articles to look at how access to health insurance has affected how Americans receive medical care during the coronavirus pandemic. Results: The large-scale job losses related to the pandemic translates directly into millions of Americans also losing employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) coverage. With the pandemic disproportionately affecting minority populations, these communities now bear the additional toll of not receiving appropriate care. Conclusion: Due to the pandemic, it is probable that a significant portion of Americans that are uninsured are less likely to seek medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. While the disease can manifest as a mild respiratory illness in most, others can experience more severe disease and require acute, intensive medical care. The lack of health insurance in this instance can be potentially fatal. Given that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected minority communities across the USA, it is important to highlight the correlation between access to medical care and COVID-19 infection rates. Communities that are of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to have health insurance and follow up with medical care due to out-of-pocket costs, which in turn leads to a higher case fatality rate due to COVID-19.

12.
SN Compr Clin Med ; 2(12): 2631-2636, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898213

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19), was reported to the World Health Organization in late 2019. This disease quickly evolved into a public health concern and was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. COVID-19's high transmission rate and potential to cause a spectrum of systemic diseases makes it imperative for researchers and clinicians worldwide to collaborate and develop a strategy to manage and contain this disease. Studies have shown a wide range of hematological abnormalities and virus-related coagulopathies in affected patients, resulting in an increased propensity to develop serious thrombotic complications or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in severe cases. The fatal implications of coagulopathy in the form of pulmonary embolism (PE), myocardial infarction (MI), and cerebral infarction compelled us to study in-depth the pathophysiology and treatment options related to COVID-19. This analysis reviews published reports on patients with confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection and associated coagulopathy, defined as abnormalities in the coagulation parameters prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), antithrombin time, fibrinogen, fibrin degradation products, and D-dimer. In this review, we present the hematological manifestations of COVID-19, focusing on virus-associated coagulopathy and relevant pathophysiology, clinical outcomes, and treatment.

13.
Future Cardiol ; 17(4): 705-711, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895270

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which originated in Wuhan (China), transformed into a worldwide pandemic. The short span associated with the spread of the virus and its varied manifestations presents a steep learning curve for many clinicians on the front-line of treatment. Cardiology is one such affected area. This paper details the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease resulting from COVID-19, including its proposed pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, treatments and outcomes under investigation. The consensus is that COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular injury have a shorter duration from symptom onset to deterioration, higher mortality and higher prevalence in older populations. Diagnosis and intervention for patients with underlying cardiovascular comorbidities is critical.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Child Neurol ; 36(4): 324-330, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894959

ABSTRACT

Since the first reports of SARS-CoV-2 infection from China, multiple studies have been published regarding the epidemiologic aspects of COVID-19 including clinical manifestations and outcomes. The majority of these studies have focused on respiratory complications. However, recent findings have highlighted the systemic effects of the virus, including its potential impact on the nervous system. Similar to SARS-CoV-1, cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2 depends on the expression of ACE2, a receptor that is abundantly expressed in the nervous system. Neurologic manifestations in adults include cerebrovascular insults, encephalitis or encephalopathy, and neuromuscular disorders. However, the presence of these neurologic findings in the pediatric population is unclear. In this review, the potential neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2, known neurologic manifestations of COVID-19 in children, and management of preexisting pediatric neurologic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Adolescent , Age Factors , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn
15.
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry ; 35(12): 1437-1441, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694597

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused rapid and monumental changes around the world. Older people, who already experience higher rates of social isolation and loneliness, are more susceptible to adverse effects as a result of the social distancing protocols enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19. Based on prior outbreaks, we speculate the detrimental outcomes and offer solutions. METHODS: Reviewing the literature on the detrimental effects of social isolation and loneliness and higher mortality in the older population. Utilizing psychological study outcomes from prior major outbreaks such as in SARS, Ebola, H1N1 influenza, and Middle East respiratory syndrome offer predictions and the susceptibility in the geriatric age group. RESULTS: Organizations such as the WHO, Centers for Disease Control, and American Association of Retired Persons have put measures in place to provide networking on a local, regional, and national level. These efforts are designed to start mitigating such detrimental effects. A necessary follow-up to this pandemic will be gathering data on unique populations such as the geriatric community, to better mitigate adverse outcomes given the certainty that COVID-19 will not be the last global viral outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: The results of worsened social isolation and loneliness is associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality in the geriatric population. Various solutions including virtual interactions with loved ones, engaging in physical activity, continuing any spiritual or religious prayers remotely, and community services to provide aid for the older population are all efforts to minimize social isolation and loneliness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Loneliness , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
16.
J Clin Neurosci ; 79: 241-245, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-671055

ABSTRACT

One of the major concerns of the health care community and the public surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is the availability and use of ventilators. Unprecedented surges of patients presented to intensive care units across the country, with older adults making up a large proportion of the patient population. This paper illustrates contemporary approaches to critical illness myopathy (CIM), critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP), and critical illness polyneuromyopathy (CIPNM) in older patients, including incidence, risk factors, mechanisms for pathology, diagnosis, contemporary treatment approaches, and outcomes. We hope that the following analysis may help educate clinicians and ultimately decrease the duration of the mechanical ventilation required by these patients, resulting in improved clinical outcomes and an increase in ventilator availability for other patients in need.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Muscular Diseases/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Polyneuropathies/etiology , Animals , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Illness , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiration, Artificial , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104386, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-227004

ABSTRACT

There is an increasing number of confirmed cases and deaths caused by the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributing to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. At this point, the need for further disease characterization is critical. COVID-19 is well established as a respiratory tract pathogen; however, recent studies have shown an increasing number of patients reporting gastrointestinal manifestations such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The time from onset of gastrointestinal symptoms to hospital presentation is often delayed compared to that of respiratory symptoms. It has been noted that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in fecal matter for an extended period of time, even after respiratory samples have tested negative and patients are asymptomatic. In this article, SARS-CoV-2 and its disease COVID-19 will be reviewed with consideration of the latest literature about gastrointestinal symptomatology, the mechanisms by which the virus may inflict damage, and the possibility of viral replication contributing to a fecal-oral route of transmission.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Diarrhea/virology , Digestive System Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Digestive System Diseases/prevention & control , Digestive System Diseases/virology , Feces/virology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , Liver/virology , Oxygen/administration & dosage , Pancreas/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , Vomiting/virology
19.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 68(5): 926-929, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-38413

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel virus that causes COVID-19 infection, has recently emerged and caused a deadly pandemic. Studies have shown that this virus causes worse outcomes and a higher mortality rate in older adults and those with comorbidities such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). A significant percentage of older American adults have these diseases, putting them at a higher risk of infection. Additionally, many adults with hypertension, diabetes, and CKD are placed on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. Studies have shown that these medications upregulate the ACE-2 receptor, the very receptor that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to enter host cells. Although it has been hypothesized that this may cause a further increased risk of infection, more studies on the role of these medications in COVID-19 infections are necessary. In this review, we discuss the transmission, symptomatology, and mortality of COVID-19 as they relate to older adults, and possible treatments that are currently under investigation. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:926-929, 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Non-Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Non-conventional in English | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-733083

ABSTRACT

Background: Mathematical modelling of epidemics and pandemics serves as an input to policymakers and health planners for preparedness and planning for the containment of infectious diseases and their progression in the population. The susceptible-exposed-infectious/asymptomatic-recovered social distancing (SEIAR-SD) model, an extended application of the original Kermack-McKendrick and Fred Brauer models, was developed to predict the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic and its progression and duration in the state of Rajasthan, India. Objective: The study aimed at developing a mathematical model, the SEIAR-SD model, of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of Rajasthan, for predicting the number of cases, progression of the pandemic and its duration. Materials and methods: The SEIAR-SD model was applied for different values of population proportion, symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and social distancing parameters to evaluate the effect of variations in the number of infected persons, size of the pandemic and its duration, with value of other variable constant. Actual reported cases were plotted and juxtaposed on the prediction models for comparison. Results: Social distancing was the crucial determinant of the magnitude of COVID-19 cases, the progression of the pandemic and its duration. In the absence of any proven treatment or vaccine, effective social distancing would reduce the number of infections and shorten the peak and duration of the pandemic. Loosening social distancing will increase the number of cases and lead to a heightened peak and prolonged duration of the pandemic. Conclusions: In the absence of an effective treatment or a vaccine against COVID-19, social distancing (lockdown) and public health interventions-case detection with testing and isolation, contact tracing and quarantining-will be crucial for the prevention of the spread of the pandemic and for saving lives.

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