Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Modelling SARS-COV2 Spread in London: Approaches to Lift the Lockdown

Version 1 : Received: 2 May 2020 / Approved: 5 May 2020 / Online: 5 May 2020 (03:06:35 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 15 May 2020 / Approved: 16 May 2020 / Online: 16 May 2020 (18:46:59 CEST)

How to cite: Goscé, L.; Phillips, A.; Spinola, P.; Gupta, R.K.; Abubakar, I. Modelling SARS-COV2 Spread in London: Approaches to Lift the Lockdown. Preprints 2020, 2020050055 Goscé, L.; Phillips, A.; Spinola, P.; Gupta, R.K.; Abubakar, I. Modelling SARS-COV2 Spread in London: Approaches to Lift the Lockdown. Preprints 2020, 2020050055

Abstract

Background: The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major global threat. Several mathematical modelling studies have investigated the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), along with the effectiveness of interventions to interrupt transmission nationally in the UK and elsewhere. Methods: We present a mathematical model for the transmission of SARS-CoV2 in London. The model was parametrised using data on notified cases, deaths, contacts, and mobility to analyse the epidemic in the UK capital. We investigated the impact of multiple non pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and combinations of these measures on future incidence of COVID-19. Findings: Immediate action at the early stages of an epidemic in the affected districts would have tackled spread. While an extended lockdown is highly effective, other measures such as shielding older populations, universal testing and facemasks can all potentially contribute to a reduction of infections and deaths. However, based on current evidence it seems unlikely they will be as effective as continued lockdown. In order to achieve elimination and lift lockdown within 5 months, the best strategy seems to be a combination of weekly universal testing, contact tracing and use of facemasks, with concurrent lockdown. This approach could potentially reduce deaths by 76% compared with continued lockdown alone. Interpretation: A combination of NPIs such as universal testing, contact tracing and mask use while under lockdown would be associated with least deaths and infections. This approach would require high uptake and sustained local effort but it is potentially feasible as may lead to elimination in a relatively short time scale.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; coronavirus; SARS-CoV2; model; transmission model; mathematical model; lockdown; quarantine

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