The Effectiveness of Quarantine and Isolation Determine the Trend of the COVID-19 Epidemics in the Final Phase of the Current Outbreak in China

Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun;95:288-293. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.018. Epub 2020 Apr 17.


Objectives: Since January 23rd 2020, stringent measures for controlling the novel coronavirus epidemics have been gradually enforced and strengthened in mainland China. The detection and diagnosis have been improved as well. However, the daily reported cases staying in a high level make the epidemics trend prediction difficult.

Methods: Since the traditional SEIR model does not evaluate the effectiveness of control strategies, a novel model in line with the current epidemics process and control measures was proposed, utilizing multisource datasets including cumulative number of reported, death, quarantined and suspected cases.

Results: Results show that the trend of the epidemics mainly depends on quarantined and suspected cases. The predicted cumulative numbers of quarantined and suspected cases nearly reached static states and their inflection points have already been achieved, with the epidemics peak coming soon. The estimated effective reproduction numbers using model-free and model-based methods are decreasing, as well as new infections, while new reported cases are increasing. Most infected cases have been quarantined or put in suspected class, which has been ignored in existing models.

Conclusions: The uncertainty analyses reveal that the epidemics is still uncertain and it is important to continue enhancing the quarantine and isolation strategy and improving the detection rate in mainland China.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Mathematical model; Multi-source data; SEIR model.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Epidemics
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Isolation*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Quarantine*

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2