Continued travel bans aren’t going to stop spread of the new coronavirus

Cleaner wearing mask while cleaning at the Hong Kong Airport...

Photo by May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Restrictions on flights in and out of China wouldn’t have prevented the novel coronavirus from circling the globe, a new model shows. Even if the amount of international travel in and out of China had been cut by 90 percent after February 1st, the trajectory of the epidemic would not have changed significantly — not without other efforts made to stop the spread of infection, like the isolation of people who were sick.

The model, published in the journal Science, was built using transportation data and information on the dynamics of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The authors generated a range of possible scenarios for the movement of the disease through China and around the world.

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