Impact of covid-19 policy responses on health, socio-economic and environmental dimensions in five countries
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School of Public Health, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Italy
Bocconi University Italy
School of Public Health, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University University College London Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1810
The COVID-19 pandemic generated devastating impacts on human health and economic activities. Three groups of policy strategies are adopted to address health and socio-economic problems: containment, economic and health policies. This report is part of the Coronadx EU funded project (n. D7.4) and aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 policy responses on health, socio-economic and environmental dimensions in five countries. The analysis (2020-2021) involved Denmark, Italy, Israel, Sweden, United Kingdom. For each country we set up a matrix aimed at identifying the relevance of statistical relationships between the economic, social, health and environmental variables and the policy responses examined in the study cases. The effectiveness of each country’s policies was examined using a cost-effectiveness approach. We attributed monetary values to the costs of policy responses and their effect indicators. The policy response costs included national economic support and health policies (vaccination campaigns, contact tracing, face masks). The policy effect indicators included GDP recovery, CO2 emission reduction and Covid-19 deaths adverted. Stricter containment policies have significant economic, environmental, and health impacts. Economic support policies had limited relevance, and health policies, especially vaccination campaigns, were highly effective. Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the countries where the overall positive effects overcome costs. Overall positive effects are two times higher than costs in the UK and almost three times higher in Italy and Sweden. Conversely, Denmark and Israel report a negative balance. Denmark shows the lowest policy effectiveness, with policy costs four times higher than positive effects. The cost-effectiveness assessment shows high effectiveness for the Italian and the UK models. Countries that eased measures quickly after the epidemic curve declined benefited economically without significant negative health effects. High cost-effectiveness has been demonstrated for models with strong lockdown and strict health policies. Long-term impact of stronger economic policies could be further evaluated.
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