Calibrated Intervention and Containment of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Liang Tian, Xuefei Li, Fei Qi, Qian-Yuan Tang, Viola Tang, Jiang Liu, Zhiyuan Li, Xingye Cheng, Xuanxuan Li, Yingchen Shi, Haiguang Liu, Lei-Han Tang

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Received Date: 6th April 20

COVID-19 has infected more than 823,000 people globally and resulted in over 40,000 deaths as of April 1, 2020. Swift government response to contain the outbreak requires accurate and continuous census of the infected population, particularly with regards to viral carriers without severe symptoms. We take on this task by converting the symptom onset time distribution, which we calibrated, into the percentage of the latent, pre-symptomatic and symptomatic groups through a novel mathematical procedure. We then estimate the reduction of the basic reproduction number R_0 under specific disease control practices such as contact tracing, testing, social distancing, wearing masks and staying at home. When these measures are implemented in parallel, their effects on R_0 multiply. For example, if 70% of the general public wear masks and contact tracing is conducted at 60% efficiency within a 4-day time frame, epidemic growth will be flattened in the hardest hit countries. Finally, we analyse the bell-shaped curves of epidemic evolution from various affected regions and point out the significance of a universal decay rate of -0.32/day in the final eradication of the disease.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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