The sooner, the better. The early economic impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 caught (most) of the world by surprise. Few healthcare systems were prepared to deal with the outbreak of an infectious disease like the one caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
- In the absence of a vaccine or a treatment, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are an effective way to contain the disease. Extensive testing and contact tracing has become the “gold standard” but only some countries have the capacity to do it.
- The most popular type of NPI was the strictest one: the implementation of a full lockdown. By late March 2020 about 25% of the world population was under some kind of “stay-at-home” order.