FLATTENING CURVES & LIFTING LOCKDOWNS in EUROPE A better method for estimating infection rates

By
Alexandra Campmas, Paolo Giudici, Andrea Renda, Joël Ruet.

This paper presents a comparative analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak across ten major European countries. It identifies the best and worst performing countries in flattening the curve and promotes a new statistical method for estimating the ‘reproduction rate’ (known as ‘R0’) to analyse individual countries and specific regions, to better target lock-down or easing of lock-down policies and explore the best, fastest and most secure policies, as we prepare for a possible second wave.

The most important criteria for successfully flattening the curve have been early lockdowns. This has had a determining effect on the “epidemic reproduction rate” R0. There remains a significant divergence between the R0s which European governments are reportedly basing their policy decisions on, and the figures presented in this paper. This means that several European countries may under-estimate the extent to which their infection rates are being curtailed and their outbreaks are under control.

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