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How to evaluate the success of the COVID-19 measures implemented by the Norwegian government by analyzing changes in doubling time
  • Biljana Stangeland
Biljana Stangeland
Mindshift AS
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Abstract

Doubling Time (DT) is typically calculated for growth curves that show exponential growth, such as the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases day by day. DT represents the time it takes before the number of COVID-19 cases, in a certain country or area, doubles. Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, DT values are continually changing. These changes are influenced by the measures that are recommended by the health authorities and implemented by governments. After the government-imposed shutdowns of Nordic Countries that were announced around the 12th of March 2020, we followed the development of the DT in the region. Governments put in place measures never before experienced during peace time; working from home, closed schools and kindergartens, travel bans and social distancing. We conducted analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures. Does it work? The initial set of results following the shutdown are encouraging, demonstrating a trend towards slower growth; however, this could be reversed if the measures that are in place now are abandoned too early. Premature optimism can be very costly. In this report we describe a method for monitoring the epidemic in real time and evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented measures.