Congratulations to Chair Hashmat Khan! His paper titled “The Timing and Intensity of Social Distancing to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve: The Case of Spain,” (with Miguel Casares) has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Previously titled: “A Dynamic Model of COVID-19: Contagion and Implications of Isolation Enforcement”
The continued spread of COVID-19 suggests a significant possibility of reimposing the lockdowns and stricter social distancing similar to the early phase of pandemic control. We present a dynamic model to quantify the impact of isolation for the contagion curves. The model is calibrated to the COVID-19 outbreak in Spain to study the effects of the isolation enforcement following the declaration of the State of Alarm (March 14th, 2020). The simulations indicate that both the timing and the intensity of the isolation enforcement are crucial for the COVID-19 spread. For example, a 4-day earlier intervention for social distancing would have reduced the number of COVID-19 infected people by 67%. The model also informs that the isolation enforcement does not delay the peak day of the epidemic but slows down its end. When relaxing social distancing, a reduction of the contagion probability (with the generalization of preventive actions such as face mask wearing and hands sanitizing) is needed to overcome the effect of a rise in the number of interpersonal encounters. We report a threshold level for the contagion pace to avoid a second COVID-19 outbreak in Spain.