march 2020 • The BMJ

Covid-19 and community mitigation strategies in a pandemic

Shahul H Ebrahim, Qanta A Ahmed, Ernesto Gozzer, Patricia Schlagenhauf, Ziad A Memish

DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m1066


The covid-19 pandemic that was declared on 11 March 2020 has affected countries on all continents.1 Reported case numbers are certainly underestimates given the shortages or unavailability of test kits in many countries, a virus with a basic reproductive value (R0) of 2.2, and evidence of viral shedding from asymptomatic infected people.1-4 In addition to suspending travel and efforts to reduce crowds, countries are taking unprecedented measures, including wartime strategies to enhance production of medical supplies in the US, the use of the national guard to restrict movement of people, and suspension of exports of medical products from certain countries (Saudi Arabia, India).5-8 Our challenge is to make the best use of available tools through systematic implementation by communities and countries to mitigate the exponential spread of covid-19