Document Type : Review Article
Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Assistant Professor of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Fellowship of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Nursing Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
MSc of Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Background: Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are public health measures that aim to prevent and control COVID-19 transmission in the community. This overview aimed to summarize the most commonly available options of NPIs for reducing COVID-19 transmission implemented globally.
Materials and Methods: In this overview, eight databases: Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and WHO database of publications on COVID-19 for peer-reviewed studies that reported on potential non-pharmacological interventions for COVID-19 were searched from 1 December 2019 through 10 January 2023. Systematic review studies proposing NPIs for reducing COVID-19 transmission were included. Two authors independently undertook screening selection, data extraction, and quality assessment (using AMSTAR 2 and SANRA).
Results: Fifteen related studies were selected. The findings suggested that the continued use of NPIs was the best containment strategy until achieving ‘herd immunity’ to reduce disease severity and mortality. There are three main categories of NPIs: individual (personal hygiene, hand washing, face masks), environmental (cleaning and ventilation of indoor spaces), and communal (social distancing, isolation, and quarantine). According to CDC recommendations, early response and a combination of NPIs should be implemented simultaneously to maximize effectiveness. However, most NPIs can be detrimental to the economy and physical, mental, and social well-being of the population. Therefore, their use should be guided by data on the local epidemiological situations, with the overall goal of protecting the most vulnerable individuals in society.
Conclusion: Early response and a combination of individual (hand hygiene and use of facemasks), environmental (cleaning and ventilation of indoor spaces), and communal NPLs (social distancing, isolation, and quarantine) are effective at reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths.