A Look Behind the Scenes at COVID-19: National Strategies of Infection Control and Their Impact on Mortality

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 4;17(15):5616. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17155616.


(1) Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began spreading across the globe in December and, as of 9 July 2020, had inflicted more than 550,000 deaths. Public health measures implemented to control the outbreak caused socio-economic havoc in many countries. The pandemic highlighted the quality of health care systems, responses of policymakers in harmony with the population, and socio-economic resilience factors. We suggest that different national strategies had an impact on mortality and case count. (2) Methods: We collected fatality data for 17 countries until 2 June 2020 from public data and associated these with implemented containment measures. (3) Results: The outcomes present the effectiveness of control mechanisms in mitigating the virus for selected countries and the UAE as a special case. Pre-existing conditions defined the needed public health strategies and fatality numbers. Other pre-existing conditions, such as temperature, humidity, median age, and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations played minor roles and may have had no direct impact on fatality rates. (4) Conclusions: Prevention, fast containment, adequate public health strategies, and importance of indoor environments were determining factors in mitigating the pandemic. Development of public health strategies adapted to pre-existing conditions for each country and community compliance with implemented policies ensure the successful control of pandemics.

Keywords: COVID-19; India; SARS-CoV-2; UAE; containment; control measures; droplets; human coronavirus; indoor and outdoor climate; post-lockdown period; pre-existing conditions; prevention; public health strategy; recommendations; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Public Health

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2