Social distancing measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic: potential impacts and challenges in Brazil

Estela M. L. Aquino Ismael Henrique Silveira Julia Moreira Pescarini Rosana Aquino Jaime Almeida de Souza-Filho Aline dos Santos Rocha Andrea Ferreira Audêncio Victor Camila Teixeira Daiane Borges Machado Enny Paixão Flávia Jôse Oliveira Alves Flávia Pilecco Greice Menezes Ligia Gabrielli Luciana Leite Maria da Conceição Chagas de Almeida Naiá Ortelan Qeren Hapuk R. Ferreira Fernandes Renzo Joel Flores Ortiz Raquel Nunes Palmeira Elzo Pereira Pinto Junior Erika Aragão Luis Eugenio Portela Fernandes de Souza Manoel Barral Netto Maria Glória Teixeira Mauricio Lima Barreto Maria Yury Ichihara Raíza Tourinho dos Reis Silva Lima About the authors

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged researchers and policy makers to identify public safety measures forpreventing the collapse of healthcare systems and reducingdeaths. This narrative review summarizes the available evidence on the impact of social distancing measures on the epidemic and discusses the implementation of these measures in Brazil. Articles on the effect of social distancing on COVID-19 were selected from the PubMed, medRXiv and bioRvix databases. Federal and state legislation was analyzed to summarize the strategies implemented in Brazil. Social distancing measures adopted by the population appear effective, particularly when implemented in conjunction with the isolation of cases and quarantining of contacts. Therefore, social distancing measures, and social protection policies to guarantee the sustainability of these measures, should be implemented. To control COVID-19 in Brazil, it is also crucial that epidemiological monitoring is strengthened at all three levels of the Brazilian National Health System (SUS). This includes evaluating and usingsupplementary indicators to monitor the progression of the pandemic and the effect of the control measures, increasing testing capacity, and making disaggregated notificationsand testing resultstransparentand broadly available.

Key words
COVID-19; Pandemics; Social distancing; Epidemiological surveillance

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