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On a quarantine model of coronavirus infection and data analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 26.03.2020, 15:54 by Vitaly Volpert, Malay Banerjee, Sergei Petrovskii
Attempts to curb the spread of coronavirus by introducing strict quarantine measures apparently have different effect in different countries: while the number of new cases has reportedly decreased in China and South Korea, it still exhibit significant growth in Italy and other countries across Europe. In this brief note, we endeavour to assess the efficiency of quarantine measures by means of mathematical modelling. Instead of the classical SIR model, we introduce a new model of infection progression under the assumption that all infected individual are isolated after the incubation period in such a way that they cannot infect other people. Disease progression in this model is determined by the basic reproduction number $\mathcal{R}_0$ (the number of newly infected individuals during the incubation period), which is different compared to that for the standard SIR model. If $\mathcal{R}_0 >1$, then the number of latently infected individuals exponentially grows. However, if $\mathcal{R}_0 <1$ (e.g.~due to quarantine measures and contact restrictions imposed by public authorities), then the number of infected decays exponentially. We then consider the available data on the disease development in different countries to show that there are three possible patterns: growth dynamics, growth-decays dynamics, and patchy dynamics (growth-decay-growth). Analysis of the data in China and Korea shows that the peak of infection (maximum of daily cases) is reached about 10 days after the restricting measures are introduced. During this period of time, the growth rate of the total number of infected was gradually decreasing. However, the growth rate remains exponential in Italy. Arguably, it suggests that the introduced quarantine is not sufficient and stricter measures are needed.


The first author acknowledges the IHES visiting program during which this work was done. The work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Russian Federation, project number FSSF-2020-0018, and by the French-Russian program PRC2307.



Math. Model. Nat. Phenom. 15 (2020) 24


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Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena






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