A Conceptual Model for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in Wuhan, China With Individual Reaction and Governmental Action

Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Apr;93:211-216. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.058. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, emerged in Wuhan, China in the end of 2019, has claimed more than 2600 lives as of 24 February 2020 and posed a huge threat to global public health. The Chinese government has implemented control measures including setting up special hospitals and travel restriction to mitigate the spread. We propose conceptual models for the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan with the consideration of individual behavioural reaction and governmental actions, e.g., holiday extension, travel restriction, hospitalisation and quarantine. We employe the estimates of these two key components from the 1918 influenza pandemic in London, United Kingdom, incorporated zoonotic introductions and the emigration, and then compute future trends and the reporting ratio. The model is concise in structure, and it successfully captures the course of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thus sheds light on understanding the trends of the outbreak.

Keywords: COVID-19; City lockdown; Epidemic; Governmental action; Individual reaction; Mathematical modelling.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Government
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Quarantine
  • Travel / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2