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Hasan Durmuş 1 Article
The Effectiveness of Community-based Social Distancing for Mitigating the Spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey
Hasan Durmuş, Mehmet Enes Gökler, Selma Metintaş
J Prev Med Public Health. 2020;53(6):397-404.   Published online November 2, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.20.381
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the effects of community-based social distancing interventions after the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case in Turkey on the course of the pandemic and to determine the number of prevented cases.
Methods
In this ecological study, the interventions implemented in response to the first COVID-19 cases in Turkey were evaluated and the effect of the interventions was demonstrated by calculating the effective reproduction number (Rt) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coro navirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) when people complied with community-based social distancing rules.
Results
Google mobility scores decreased by an average of 36.33±22.41 points (range, 2.60 to 84.80) and a median of 43.80 points (interquartile range [IQR], 24.90 to 50.25). The interventions caused the calculated Rt to decrease to 1.88 (95% confidence interval, 1.87 to 1.89). The median growth rate was 19.90% (IQR, 10.90 to 53.90). A positive correlation was found between Google mobility data and Rt (r=0.783; p<0.001). The expected number of cases if the growth rate had not changed was predicted according to Google mobility categories, and it was estimated to be 1 381 922 in total. Thus, community-based interventions were estimated to have prevented 1 299 593 people from being infected.
Conclusions
Community-based social distancing interventions significantly decreased the Rt of COVID-19 by reducing human mobility, and thereby prevented many people from becoming infected. Another important result of this study is that it shows health policy-makers that data on human mobility in the community obtained via mobile phones can be a guide for measures to be taken.
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Citations

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health