Associate Professor Tsuyoshi Hondo of Tohoku University Graduate School of Science evaluated the impact of infection control measures on the infection rate in society as a whole, where temporary herd immunity is established based on theoretical epidemiology, and found that relaxing measures would reduce the infection rate in society as a whole. The researchers found that the number of infections increases, making it difficult for infections to peak out. His research results will be published in the journal ``Clinical Environmental Medicine Volume 32'' of the Japanese Society of Clinical and Environmental Medicine.
According to Tohoku University, in the spring of 2023, the new coronavirus infection will be classified as Category 5, the same as seasonal influenza, and the government's recommendation to wear masks will end. Since the government has not mentioned the impact of removing masks, Associate Professor Hondo used theoretical epidemiology methods to evaluate how this would affect the infection situation.
The results showed that the lower the rate of mask-wearing in society, the more difficult it is for the infection to end, and the more likely it is that people who would not have been infected when society as a whole wore masks would become infected. Similar results are expected to be obtained even if mask-wearing is replaced with ventilation measures, and the results can be applied even in the event of an outbreak of infectious diseases other than the new coronavirus.
Associate Professor Hondo emphasized that it is important that pandemic infection control measures be sustainable and compatible with the economy, and pointed out that it is necessary to integrate economic theory in addition to universal knowledge based on theoretical epidemiology. . The results of this evaluation will provide essential knowledge for the government to make comprehensive decisions.
reference:[Tohoku University] Relaxation of infection control measures will increase the infection rate in society as a whole. In a maskless society, it will be difficult for infections to peak out (PDF)