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The delay in the US blockade caused at least 36,000 deaths

If the United States had started to impose social distance measures a week earlier in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing new estimates from Columbia University .

Analysts also estimated that if the country had started to lock up cities and limit social contact on March 1, two weeks before the time when most Americans started to stay home, about 83% of the country’s deaths would be avoided.

The researchers found that even small differences in time would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which in April swept through New York City, New Orleans and other major cities. “It’s a big, big difference,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and leader of the research team.

“This little moment in time, at this stage of growth, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths.” So far, the United States has recorded more than 1,550,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 93,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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