The daily death toll from Covid-19 in the United States could have been more than halved if authorities had acted more swiftly in recommending self-isolation and the wearing of face masks, according to a new study.

Several US states began issuing stay-at-home orders in late March, while federal health authorities began recommending the use of face masks for all in early April. However, had such measures been implemented just four days earlier, the roughly 2,000 Covid-19 deaths currently being recorded each day would have been cut to less than 1,000, the study said.

Furthermore, lifting the measures in a bid to kick-start the economy would almost instantly increase the daily death toll to more than 3,000, it said.