Estimating COVID-19-Related Infections, Deaths, and Hospitalizations in Iran Under Different Physical Distancing and Isolation Scenarios

Int J Health Policy Manag. 2022 Mar 1;11(3):334-343. doi: 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.134.


Background: Iran is one of the first few countries that was hit hard with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to estimate the total number of COVID-19 related infections, deaths, and hospitalizations in Iran under different physical distancing and isolation scenarios.

Methods: We developed a susceptible-exposed-infected/infectious-recovered/removed (SEIR) model, parameterized to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran. We used the model to quantify the magnitude of the outbreak in Iran and assess the effectiveness of isolation and physical distancing under five different scenarios (A: 0% isolation, through E: 40% isolation of all infected cases). We used Monte-Carlo simulation to calculate the 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs).

Results: Under scenario A, we estimated 5 196 000 (UI 1 753 000-10 220 000) infections to happen till mid-June with 966 000 (UI 467 800-1 702 000) hospitalizations and 111 000 (UI 53 400-200 000) deaths. Successful implantation of scenario E would reduce the number of infections by 90% (ie, 550 000) and change the epidemic peak from 66 000 on June 9, to 9400 on March 1, 2020. Scenario E also reduces the hospitalizations by 92% (ie, 74 500), and deaths by 93% (ie, 7800).

Conclusion: With no approved vaccination or therapy available, we found physical distancing and isolation that include public awareness and case-finding and isolation of 40% of infected people could reduce the burden of COVID-19 in Iran by 90% by mid-June.

Keywords: COVID-19; Iran; Isolation; Modeling; Physical Distancing.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Physical Distancing
  • SARS-CoV-2