Containment measures intended to slow down the spread of the virus in the population are therefore extremely important as outlined below in the ‘Options for response’ and recent ECDC guidance documents .
All these measures will facilitate effective treatment of infected patients .
Non-pharmaceutical interventions may reduce and interrupt transmission, based on evidence from influenza and other respiratory viruses .
Community measures ECDC guidelines for the use of non-pharmaceutical countermeasures to delay and mitigate the impact of the epidemic of COVID-19 include a description of the measures that can be applied in the community: infection prevention and control, social distancing, travel-related and screenings of travellers .
There is no evidence on the usefulness of face masks worn by persons who are not ill, therefore this is not advisable .
Due to the significant secondary effects (social, economic, etc.) of social distancing measures, the decision on their application should be based on a case-by-case risk assessment, depending on the impact of the epidemic and the local epidemiological situation .
Although some imported COVID-19 cases have been detected through entry screening at destination airports, the available evidence suggests that entry screening is not effective in delaying or mitigating a pandemic [44,62] or detecting incoming travellers with infectious diseases.
Quarantine, including voluntary quarantine, may be considered for high-risk exposure contacts .
44. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Guidelines for the use of non-pharmaceutical measures to delay and mitigate the impact of 2019-nCoV 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/novel-coronavirus-guidelines-non-pharmaceuticalmeasures_0.pdf.