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Government responses and COVID-19 deaths: Global evidence across multiple pandemic waves

Thomas Hale, Noam Angrist, Andrew J Hale, Beatriz Kira, Saptarshi Majumdar, Anna Petherick, Toby Phillips, Devi Sridhar, Robin N Thompson, Samuel Webster and Yuxi Zhang

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 7, 1-14

Abstract: We provide an assessment of the impact of government closure and containment measures on deaths from COVID-19 across sequential waves of the COVID-19 pandemic globally. Daily data was collected on a range of containment and closure policies for 186 countries from January 1, 2020 until March 11th, 2021. These data were combined into an aggregate stringency index (SI) score for each country on each day (range: 0–100). Countries were divided into successive waves via a mathematical algorithm to identify peaks and troughs of disease. Within our period of analysis, 63 countries experienced at least one wave, 40 countries experienced two waves, and 10 countries saw three waves, as defined by our approach. Within each wave, regression was used to assess the relationship between the strength of government stringency and subsequent deaths related to COVID-19 with a number of controls for time and country-specific demographic, health system, and economic characteristics. Across the full period of our analysis and 113 countries, an increase of 10 points on the SI was linked to 6 percentage points (P

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253116

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