Evaluation of Intervention Strategies in Response to the COVID‑19 Outbreaks
With the global spread of the novel coronavirus virus and potential for a COVID‑19 pandemic, the World Health Organization declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, recognizing an extraordinary event that requires coordinated efforts to contain disease outbreaks. Research to evaluate intervention strategies can help decision-makers to identify the type and intensity of control measures needed for containment. We propose to investigate the severity and healthcare resource utilization during potential outbreaks, estimate the transmissibility and the percentage of the population that could be affected, and predict clinical outcomes and critical care demand. We will use modelling and simulation for nearly real-time estimates of public health and healthcare interventions in Canada, the US and India. Our specific research objectives are to: 1) Predict the scope of disease transmission, potential outbreaks, and clinical attack rates. 2) Project what hospitals will require for isolation, ambulatory services, emergency and hospital admissions, and critical care of symptomatic patients. 3) Assess the potential effects of various non-pharmacologic interventions, including quarantine, self-reporting and isolation, and school closure. 4) Evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a COVID‑19 vaccine and determine best scenarios to distribute a vaccine based on population age and risk of disease severity. To achieve these objectives, we will develop new and adapt existing mathematical models to simulate the transmission dynamics of COVID‑19 in outbreak scenarios. Our team has access to a number of databases including daily reports on incidence of confirmed and suspected cases, hospitalization, and deaths attributed to COVID‑19 in China. Using demographics of the Canadian, US, and Indian populations, we will evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination strategies, hospital surge capacity, and social policies such as quarantine and closing schools.