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Role of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Literature Review
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1  Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Kebangsaan Malaysia



Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as a means of prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic have gained increasing attention. NPIs are important to reduce infectious disease and flatten the curve of infection. However, data or literature on the effectiveness of NPIs is scarce. In this review, we aim to investigate the effectiveness of NPIs in the community based on previous literature.


A literature search was conducted on seven databases (OVID, EBSCOHOST, WOS, SCOPUS, TRIP, JSTOR, and PUBMED) using the PICO method which yielded 208 articles. A PRISMA flow diagram and extraction tables were used to analyze the final 14 eligible articles spanning nine countries.


There were nine articles on human surveillance, two on patient and contact management, two on community restrictions, and one article discussing the combination of NPIs (quarantine, closure of facilities, and transit site surveillance). With the use of NPIs, there was a significant reduction of infection episodes among the target population.


There has been an increasing demand for scientific evidence on NPIs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and present policy recommendations rely heavily on expert judgement. Randomized trials are required to obtain better evidence for these interventions. However, in the absence of definitive evidence, this review will help experts create feasible and widely acceptable policies and protocols for mitigation plans.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; cough etiquette; hand hygiene; quarantine; closure of facilities; face mask; PPE