International travel bans can be three times as effective at controlling the spread of coronavirus than quarantining incoming travellers, a study suggests. US, UK and Canadian researchers found crude blanket bans were easier to enforce, despite being unpopular and economically damaging. Asking arrivals to self-isolate, however, is hard to police and would inevitably lead to people ignoring the rules and spreading the disease among the public. The study, by experts at Stanford University, estimated how long it would take for 0.1 per cent of a population to get infected under various travel restrictions. Using mathematical modelling, they found it could take between 95 and 123 days if a blanket ban was enforced and all incoming flights were grounded. If 50 per cent of new arrivals followed quarantine advice, then it would only take 44 or 46 days. But if compliance was good and 95 per cent of incoming travellers isolated, it could be extended to between 77 and 89 days. Writing in the study, the researchers say: ‘The picture is quite clear: Without proper control, an influx of infected travelers can easily become the seed for a new exponential outbreak.’ But they conceded that travel restrictions are a highly contentious… Read full this story
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