Publication date: Jun 11, 2020
Governments across Europe are preparing for the emergence from lockdown, in phases, to prevent a resurgence in cases of COVID-19. Along with social distancing (SD) measures, contact tracing comprising find, track, trace and isolate (FTTI) policies are also being implemented. Here, we investigate FTTI policies in terms of their impact on the endemic equilibrium. We used a generative model, the dynamic causal ‘Location’, ‘Infection’, ‘Symptom’ and ‘Testing’ (LIST) model to identify testing, tracing, and quarantine requirements. We optimised LIST model parameters based on time series of daily reported cases and deaths of COVID-19 in England and based upon reported cases in the nine regions of England and in all 150 upper tier local authorities. Using these optimised parameters, we forecasted infection rates and the impact of FTTI for each area; national, regional, and local. Predicting data from early June 2020, we find that under conditions of medium-term immunity, a ‘40%’ FTTI policy (or greater), could reach a distinct endemic equilibrium that produces a significantly lower death rate and a decrease in ICU occupancy. Considering regions of England in isolation, some regions could substantially reduce death rates with 20% efficacy. We characterise the accompanying endemic equilibria in terms of dynamical stability, observing bifurcation patterns whereby relatively small increases in FTTI efficacy result in stable states with reduced overall morbidity and mortality. These analyses suggest that FTTI will not only save lives, even if only partially effective, and could underwrite the stability of any endemic steady-state we manage to attain.
|disease||MESH||Emerging infectious diseases|