These corona measures are effective – and these are not

Corona mass test at the University of Vienna
Image: EPA

Thousands of studies on the corona pandemic have appeared so far. Dozens of guidelines have been adopted, withdrawn and reinstated – and yet there is still no clarity as to what best protects against the spread of the virus. There are still a few realizations.

Et seems like a contradiction, but it is not: On the one hand, knowledge continues to grow explosively, on the other hand, researchers are also struggling with the flood of studies. Tens of thousands of research studies on the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic virus and the Covid-19 disease it causes have appeared in just nine months of this pandemic, dozens of measures have been taken, discontinued and reinstated around the world to limit the spread of the new pathogen – and but after all these large and small experiments there is still not complete clarity as to what best protects against the spread of the virus. From the many individual findings there is still no clear, final picture. But how should it? Even decades later, research is still being conducted around the world on influenza flu.

Joachim Müller-Jung

Editor in the features section, responsible for the “Nature and Science” section.

After all, a group of health researchers on behalf of the Cochrane Foundation Germany has now dared to summarize certain non-pharmaceutical corona measures against the spread of the new corona virus: This involves quarantine, travel restrictions and broad-based test screenings – mass tests asymptomatic and asymptomatic persons.

“Research on Covid-19 is progressing rapidly”

For years, the Freiburg-based Cochrane Foundation has maintained a highly respected international network of scientists who critically question the scientific basis for decisions on health issues. Your reviewers are veritable cherry pickers: They discard findings that are based on thin data or poor studies and only allow “reliable evidence” to apply to their assessments.

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The summary of the three anti-corona measures states: “Research on COVID-19 is progressing rapidly, but the evidence base is still very uncertain. There is a lack of evidence for the economic and social damage resulting from these measures. ”So not only do they rate the data base for the effects of government measures as thin, but also the evidence that the measures are excessive and socially detrimental could.


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