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Original Article
Association between face covering policies and the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 in European countries
Sookhyun Kim, Jiyoung Oh, Sangwoo Tak
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(1):31-39.   Published online February 1, 2023
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  • 76 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
This study was conducted to determine the impact of the strengthening or relaxation of face covering mandates on the subsequent national case incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Europe as the full vaccination rate was increasing.
European countries in which case incidence increased for 3 consecutive weeks were monitored and analyzed using COVID-19 incidence data shared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The epidemic trend of COVID-19 in Europe was compared with that of countries elsewhere in the world based on WHO weekly epidemiological reports from June 20 to October 30, 2021. In addition, this study provided insight into the impact of government mask mandates on COVID-19 incidence in Europe by measuring the index scores of those facial covering policies before and after mandate relaxation or strengthening. The effects of the vaccination rate and the speed of vaccination on COVID-19 incidence were also analyzed.
The incidence of COVID-19 after the relaxation of face covering mandates was significantly higher than before relaxation. However, no significant difference was observed in vaccination rate between countries with increased and decreased incidence. Instead, rapid vaccination delayed the resurgence in incidence.
The findings suggest that face covering policies in conjunction with rapid vaccination efforts are essential to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Review Article
Scrutiny of COVID-19 response strategies among severely affected European nations
Shine Stephen, Alwin Issac, Rakesh Vadakkethil Radhakrishnan, Jaison Jacob, VR Vijay, Sam Jose, SM Azhar, Anoop S. Nair, Nadiya Krishnan, Rakesh Sharma, Manju Dhandapani
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(4):203-214.   Published online July 29, 2021
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  • 131 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 8 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Although the health care systems in Europe are considered the global benchmark, European nations were severely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This manuscript aimed to examine the strategies implemented to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Russia and their outcomes in terms of the number of cases, testing, and deaths. This is the first review of its kind that extensively analyzes the preparedness, mitigation, and response strategies against the COVID-19 pandemic adopted by these nations. This paper further suggests a strategic preparedness model for future pandemics. From the analysis, we found that a decentralized approach, prompt decision-making and timely execution, coordination between local health authorities, and public participation in the implementation of strategies could substantially reduce the case fatality rate. Nations with a high percentage of gross domestic product invested in the health sector, as well as more nurses, physicians, hospital beds, intensive care unit beds, and ventilators, better managed the pandemic. Instead, nations that postponed their pandemic response by delaying tracking, tracing, testing, quarantine, and lockdown were badly affected. The lessons learned from the present pandemic could be used as a guide to prepare for further pandemics.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives