Currie Journal of Knowledge
Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
How to cite: Haverila, M. & Rangarajan, A. (2021). Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions. Cascade Journal of Knowledge, volume 2 (1), 7:42.
Abstract: The purpose of the presentation is to briefly describe what non-pharmaceutical interventions are and how the NPIs are particularly critical in the early stages of the spreading of conventional and especially pandemic influenzas flus. The presentation indicate that non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) consist of Personal protective measures for everyday use, personal protective measures reserved for influenza pandemics, environmental measures and community measures aimed at increasing social distancing. Furthermore, the presentation discusses the spreading of the viruses and how the NPIs can alleviate the negative impacts of the virus before effective vaccinations become available. Some practical examples about the use of NPIs are demonstrated.
Keywords: Non-pharmaceutical interventions; virus; flu; Isolation; Quarantine; Respitary etiquette; Han hygiene; Social distancing.

Learning outcomes:

Transcribed copy of screencast

Welcome to the presentation on non-pharmaceutical interventions.

After viewing the presentation, you will be able to define the non-pharmaceutical interventions, understand how the virus spreads, and discuss the purpose of NPIs. Also, you will understand what personal NPIs and community NPIs are, along with the four main categories of NPIs.

First, the definition of NPIs. Non-pharmaceutical interventions, also known as NPIs, are actions that people, and communities take to help slow the spread of illnesses, like pandemic influenza or flu.

The types of NPIs includes personal protective measures for everyday use, such as voluntary home isolation, or staying at home when feeling sick, and measures such as following respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene and personal protective measures result from influenza pandemics, such as voluntary home quarantine of exposed members, and the use of face masks in community settings. Non-pharmaceutical interventions also include environmental measures, such as routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and community measures aimed at increasing social distancing, such as closures of school, and other educational estates, social distancing in workplaces, and postponing or canceling mass gatherings.

Next, let’s have a brief overview on how viruses can spread. Originating from the sick person, the virus spreads to a healthy person through the droplets as the sick person coughs, sneezes or talks. The virus may also transmit through contaminated surfaces where they are live for up to 48 hours. The virus spreads when healthy people touch these contaminated surfaces or objects, and subsequently touch their eyes, nose or mouth while the virus survives for only three to five minutes on hands. If, however, other people subsequently touch the surface, affected by the virus, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth, they may catch the virus.

So, what’s the role and purpose of NPIs in this. Non-pharmaceutical interventions help in controlling the spread of pandemic influenza. These are the mitigation strategies that are viable and effective during a pandemic outbreak.

It could be seen that flattening of P that is representing the number of infected people could be achieved only by following these interventions.

Having understood the purpose of NPIs now, let’s see what the personal and community NPIs are. Personal NPIs are everyday preventive actions to be followed by all the individuals. These include measures, such as staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes with the tissue, washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Community NPIs are policies and strategies that the organizations and communities put into place to help slow the spread of illness. The two most commonly used community NPIs are social distancing, and closures. Well, social distancing involves creating ways to increase distance between people in settings where they come into close contact, closures imply to temporary closing of settings where people gather.

Now, let’s discuss the categories of NPIs in depth. There are four major categories of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Category one. This includes measures such as voluntary home isolation of ill persons, adopting respiratory etiquettes such as closing coughs and sneezes and ensuring hand hygiene.

Category two. This includes measures such as voluntary home quarantine of exposed household members and the use of face masks.

Category three. Category three includes the intervention of routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. By adapting this strategy, one can prevent and/or avoid the spreading of virus through contaminated surface.

Category four. This includes social distancing, also called as physical distancing. Social distancing means to have a safe space between two people. By staying at least six feet, or about to arm’s length, and practicing the social distancing, one could prevent the spread of the virus significantly.

Now, let’s have some demonstrations on how to practice the NPIs. First, is the demonstration for cleaning or disinfecting surfaces. Few points to consider in the process include use of disposable gloves and washing hands post usage, pre-cleaning the surface to ensure effectiveness and the use of EPA approved disinfectants.

Next is the demonstration for washing hands with soap and water. It is especially important to wash the hands for at least 20 seconds after coughing or sneezing and especially after being in a public place. Rub hands together and ensure the lather the surfaces between fingers under nails and in the back of hands. Use air dryer or a towel to dry the hands and turn off the water faucet with the tower. In case of absence of soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percentage of alcohol.

Concluding remarks. In today’s presentation, we understood on how the non-pharmaceutical interventions help people protect themselves and others from catching the virus. To conclude, performance of the NPIs is crucial, particularly during pandemic outbreaks such as COVID-19. And their role is significant, especially for some people who have low immunity against the virus. So, your individual actions would make a big difference in fighting against the spreading of the virus.

Thank you!


Matti Haverila and Akshaya Rangarajan

Thompson Rivers University, Canada

Dr. Matti Haverila is a professor of marketing at Thompson Rivers University. He is an author of three books and has published about 100 academic papers. His research interests are brand communities, new product development, customer satisfaction and loyalty and wine marketing. Dr. Haverila also has managerial experience in Finland, U.K., the Bahamas and the United States in industries like software, consumer products and forest industry products. Matti graduated with MBA (marketing) from the University of Oregon, an M.Sc., a Certificate in Education from Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Ph.D. from Tampere University of Technology, Finland. Akshaya Rangarajan is an MBA student at Thompson Rivers University.


Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, April 21). Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza — United States, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2021, from

Center of Disease Control and Preventation. (2021). Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). Available at:

Flattening the curve – Why is it important? (2020). McFarland Clinic. Available at:


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