Coronavirus live: national lockdown ruled out in France; international travel ’biggest factor in death rate’ | World news | The Guardian
Study: international travel biggest factor in death rate. Early restrictions on international travel might have made a difference in the spread of pandemic in western Europe, including the UK, a new study has found. Restrictions on international travel had the greatest impact on death rates, according to a study from the University of Aberdeen. It compared the 37 countries most severely affected by the first wave of the pandemic and looked into a range of factors that could have affected transmission including international arrivals, population density, the percentage of people living in urban areas, age, average body mass index and smoking prevalence. They found a million international arrivals was associated with a 3.4% increase in Covid-19 deaths during the first wave of the pandemic.
One of the study’s authors Tiberiu Pana, said:Our assessment of available data indicates that very early restrictions on international travel might have made a difference in the spread of pandemic in western Europe, including the UK. These findings are particularly important as the world looks to control future waves and strains of the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent related deaths. It comes as the UK government faces criticism for delays in implementing plans to quarantine international arrivals.The head of one of the UK’s biggest airport hotel chains, Best Western, said his company had been “kept in the dark” over the government’s plan to quarantine international arrivals.The chief executive, Rob Paterson, said the chain had made multiple offers to help with the isolation plans, first announced by ministers in mid-January, but “simply haven’t heard anything”.
He said:Other than very broad information about what timings they’re thinking about and who is handling it we haven’t had any discussions at all.
We have connections in Singapore and Australia and New Zealand who are doing this, that we could learn from and easily get on the phone and offer their support. We’re just surprised that we haven’t heard anything.”