This systematic review and meta-analysis providesthe best available evidence on effectiveness of 3 important non-pharmaceutical interventions––(i) physical distancing, (ii) use of face masks and (iii) eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS, MERS and COVID 19 in healthcare and non-healthcare settings.
Although limited by non-randomised design of available studies, the findings reveal the extent of protection conferred by these non-pharmaceutical interventions against transmission of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.
It provides quantitative estimates for models on physical distancing and generates an evidence base to validate the use of face masks in non-healthcare settings and, the use of N95 or similar respirators and eye protection in healthcare settings.
The strength of associations between use of different types of masks (N-95, surgical masks, 12-16 layer cotton masks) and their protection against different viruses (SARS-CoV MERS, and SARS-CoV-2) should be treated with caution, due to contextual factors.
Article: Chu DK, Akl EA, Duda S, et al. Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 1]. Lancet. 2020;395(10242):1973-1987. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31142-9Prevention- Non drug strategies -Metaanalysis