SABCoM: A Spatial Agent-Based COVID-19 Model

52 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2020

See all articles by Allan Davids

Allan Davids

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Gideon du Rand

Stellenbosch University

Co-Pierre Georg

University of Cape Town; Deutsche Bundesbank

Tina Koziol

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Joeri Schasfoort

University of Cape Town

Date Written: July 29, 2020

Abstract

How effective are 'lockdown' measures and other policy interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in emerging market cities that are characterized by large heterogeneity and high levels of informality? The most commonly used models to predict the spread of COVID-19 are SEIR models which lack the spatial resolution necessary to answer this question. We develop an agent-based model of social interactions in which the distribution of agents across wards, as well as their travel and interactions are calibrated to real data for Cape Town, South Africa. We characterize the elasticity of various policy interventions including increased likelihood to self-isolate, travel restrictions, assembly bans, and behavioural interventions like washing hands or wearing masks. Even in an informal setting, where agents' ability to self-isolate is compromised, a lockdown remains an effective intervention. In our model, the lockdown enacted in South Africa reduced expected fatalities in Cape Town by 26% and the expected demand for intensive care beds by 46%. However, our best calibration predicts a substantially higher case load, demand for ICU beds, and expected number of deaths than the current best estimate published for Cape Town.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, informal settlements, agent-based epidemiological model

JEL Classification: C63, I18, R12, L14

Suggested Citation

Davids, Allan and du Rand, Gideon and Georg, Co-Pierre and Koziol, Tina and Schasfoort, Joeri, SABCoM: A Spatial Agent-Based COVID-19 Model (July 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3663320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3663320

Allan Davids

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Gideon Du Rand

Stellenbosch University ( email )

Private Bag X1
Stellenbosch, Western Cape 7602
South Africa

Co-Pierre Georg

University of Cape Town ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Deutsche Bundesbank ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

Tina Koziol

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

Private Bag X3
Rondebosch, Western Cape 7701
South Africa

Joeri Schasfoort (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town ( email )

Cape Town, Western Cape
South Africa

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