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dc.contributor.authorHealth Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
dc.date.accessioned2021-01-14T11:59:52Z
dc.date.available2021-01-13T15:07:51Z
dc.date.available2021-01-14T11:59:52Z
dc.date.issued2020-12-11
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/628768
dc.description Since October 2020 there has been a resurgence in the incidence of COVID-19 in the 17 European countries included in this review. In some countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czechia, and Switzerland, the 14-day incidence surpassed 1,000 cases per 100,000 population. The growth in new cases, however, is now slowing or declining across most countries.  Although there has been a considerable increase in the incidence of new cases, to date, only a few of these countries have seen a substantial increase in the 14-day death rate per million population.  Across many countries the impact of the increase in COVID-19 cases is being observed through increased hospitalisations and admissions to intensive care: o To date, hospitalisations and admissions to intensive care have been highest in Belgium and Czechia. However, the numbers are also increasing in Austria, Italy, and Portugal, for example. o In contrast, the numbers of people hospitalised or admitted to intensive care in Denmark and Ireland have remained low relative to other countries during October and November.  A number of countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Scotland, have developed frameworks or systems for living with COVID-19, which assess the level of risk associated with the virus and the type of public health measures, or restrictions, that are needed to contain it.  To guide decision-making on public health measures, a variety of epidemiological parameters are being monitored internationally including the 14-day incidence of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, mortality rate, test positivity rate. Decisions to escalate or de-escalate public health measures also take hospital statistics into consideration, which may lag behind changes in the incidence of the disease.  Internationally, restrictions have been applied at different levels . Some countries are applying restrictions at a nationwide level (for example, Ireland), others are doing so at both a nationwide and regional level (for example, Portugal and Switzerland) while others are applying restrictions solely at a regional/area level (for example, Italy and Scotland).  The situation remains fluid with time-limited measures in place in most countries, while measures are under review in a number of others, for example Scotland and Spain.  Between 20 and 27 November, although the risk level remains unchanged in Czechia, restrictions were eased marginally and extended until 12 December. Nationwide restrictions have been extended and or tightened in Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Northern Ireland and Sweden. The restrictions in the North Jutland region of Denmark have been removed.  While the type of measures that have been applied are generally consistent across countries, the detail varies considerably particularly in terms of restriction of movement, numbers permitted at gatherings and events and the operating hours of businesses within the hospitality sector.  As a national strategy, individuals displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are prioritised for testing in each of the countries included in this review. In Denmark and France, however, testing is provided for anyone that requests a test, irrespective of the presence of symptoms.  Most countries have expanded testing to also include screening of asymptomatic individuals in certain settings (for example, serial testing of staff and residents in residential care facilities, such as in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden).  With the exception of Austria, which plans to make rapid antigen tests available to the general public (anyone aged 10 years or over) through a voluntary free-of-charge mass testing programme, population-wide testing has yet to be implemented in any of the other included countries.  Jurisdictions such as Denmark, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Scotland and Wales have developed a centralised approach to contact tracing, which is implemented by a national body. Other countries such as Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland employ a more decentralised approach, whereby contact tracing is devolved to individual health authorities, for example.  Apart from Sweden, all of the countries included in the review have employed a mobile application to supplement contact tracing.en_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherHealth Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)en_US
dc.subjectCOVID-19en_US
dc.subjectCORONAVIRUSen_US
dc.subjectPUBLIC HEALTHen_US
dc.subjectINFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROLen_US
dc.titlePublic health measures and strategies to limit the spread of COVID-19: an international review [v3.0]en_US
dc.typeReporten_US
dc.language.rfc3066English
refterms.dateFOA2021-01-13T15:07:53Z


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