Redefined Epidemiological Model Predicts COVID-19 Spread in Mainland China and South Korea
18 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020More...
Background: Epidemiological models have proven useful for understanding infection dynamics and can form the basis for policymaking.
Methods: We redefine the key variables in a classic epidemiological model (SIR) based on the containment measures used by Mainland China and South Korea. We introduce two parameter estimation approaches for our redefined SIR model to predict the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in Mainland China and South Korea.
Findings: Our model accurately predicts the drop in new cases in both countries. Based on the available data up until February 6, 2020 for Mainland China outside of Hubei province, our model predicts that the number of daily new cases excluding imported cases drops below one on March 7, which has indeed come to pass. Furthermore, our model predicts the number of daily new cases in South Korea to fall below 100 by March 14, which turns out to be almost exactly correct. According to our model, the number of daily new infections in South Korea excluding imported cases will reach zero by the beginning of April.
Interpretation: The applicability of our model to the COVID-19 transmission dynamics in both countries relies on taking into account the strict containment measures that were implemented, such as the timely confirmation of the infected, the extensive efforts to isolate the infected, and the tracing and quarantining of their contacts. With these measures put in place, we expect the actual transmission dynamics to follow our model.
Funding Statement: None.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: Data is publicly available.
Keywords: COVID-19; infection management and control; epidemiological model; SIR model
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