Simulation of the first COVID-19 wave in Taiwan by using new epidemiological compartmental model

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Tatiana Filonets

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
"Simulation of the first COVID-19 wave in Taiwan by using new epidemiological compartmental model"
As of March 10, 2021, there were 978 officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Taiwan, of which 862 were imported from outside of the country. Taiwan very quickly implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions, namely rapid case finding, hospital isolation, tracing and testing the contacts of infected individuals, central distribution of masks, and imposing home-quarantine on travelers from COVID-19 affected countries. In this work, we simulated the Taiwanese scenario of the first wave of COVID-19 January-March) in order to investigate the effectiveness of the public medical masks wearing and contact tracing to maintain the pandemic at a manageable level. For this purpose, we used a modified version of the SEIR model which takes into account asymptomatic cases, contact tracing, self-isolation, and masks wearing. In addition, we estimated the basic reproduction number and its dependence on the model parameters by using the next-generation matrix approach.Our results show that good realization of contact tracing program, the fast isolation, together with medical masks wearing by 90% of the population can help to control the local virus spreading. However, only high-quality implementation of these interventions can provide the basic reproduction number value below one.

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