Yonsei Med J.  2022 Aug;63(8):707-716. 10.3349/ymj.2022.63.8.707.

Evaluation of Intervention Policies for the COVID-19 Epidemic in the Seoul/Gyeonggi Region through a Model Simulation

Affiliations
  • 1School of Mathematics and Computing (Mathematics), Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2School of Mathematics and Computing (Computational Science and Engineering), Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine and AIDS Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Infectious Disease Research Center, Citizen’s Health Bureau, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Purpose
To evaluate the efficacy of intervention policies on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) dissemination.
Materials and Methods
An age-structured compartmental model for the COVID-19 outbreak was proposed to predict the impact of control measures in the Seoul/Gyeonggi region. The model was calibrated based on actual data and realistic situations, including daily vaccine doses, proportion of delta variant cases, and confirmed cases by age. We simulated different scenarios for non-pharmaceutical interventions by varying social distancing and school attendance strategies.
Results
Two-step mitigation of social distancing without in-person classes would result in a rapid increase in confirmed cases up to 10000 but would keep severe cases within the manageable range of the health care system. The overall impact of taking down the distancing level by one step with twice the increase in contacts at school was comparable to the above scenario. Implementation of two-step mitigation of social distancing along with a two-fold increase in contacts among the school-age group would dramatically increase confirmed and severe cases by over 80000 and 100, respectively, as early as the beginning of December. This policy would cause the situation to spiral out of control, considering the scale of the response and time to prepare. On the other hand, the burden on the current healthcare system caused by two-step mitigation of social distancing and 40% increased contacts in the school-age group was manageable if prepared.
Conclusion
A compromise between social distancing and school attendance policy and timely preparations for the spread of COVID-19 are required.

Keyword

COVID-19; simulation model; infection control
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