The Mathematics Against Lockdowns

In a bioRxiv preprint first posted October 21, 2020 (and later published in Molecular Biology and Evolution), Dellacour et al. (2020) report their studies of the spatial density of available SARS-CoV-2 genomes mapped in the Belgium epidemic.

Their phylodynamic analysis demonstrates real-time dispersion dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

Among other things, their spatially-explicit phylogeographic analyses highlight that the national lockdown had a relatively low impact on both the lineage dispersal velocity and long-distance dispersal events within Belgium.

Simply put, the Belgian lockdowns show no statistical evidence of materially impacting pandemic dispersion.


Simon Dellicour, Keith Durkin, Samuel L. Hong, Bert Vanmechelen, Joan Martí-Carreras, Mandev S. Gill, Cécile Meex, Sébastien Bontems, Emmanuel André, Marius Gilbert, Conor Walker, Nicola De Maio, Nuno R. Faria, James Hadfield, Marie-Pierre Hayette, Vincent Bours, Tony Wawina-Bokalanga, Maria Artesi, Guy Baele, Piet Maes (2020) A phylodynamic workflow to rapidly gain insights into the dispersal history and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 lineages bioRxiv 2020.05.05.078758; doi:

Now published in Molecular Biology and Evolution doi: 10.1093/molbev/msaa284

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