Public health response to COVID-19 in selected countries – Hits and misses.
Lack of a cure or vaccine of COVID-19 forced us to rely on public health interventions (PHIs) for combating the pandemic. The main objective of the study to assess the PHI in selected countries and relate the various factors related to the intervention with the case load of the country.An ecological analysis was conducted using secondary data on PHIs and disease burden extracted from official documents and press releases of the respective countries. Disease transmission was described based on calculated doubling time. PHIs were classified into 14 categories within three domains. An intervention score was calculated to reflect the number and stringency of the PHIs. Correlations between intervention scores, daily new cases and doubling time were presented.Brazil and the USA had the lowest intervention scores while South Korea had the highest scores. The median doubling time was negatively correlated with the rapidity of the escalation of the PHIs.Dynamic government policies and timely PHIs, which are locally relevant and ably supported by the public are key to successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.