Delays, masks, the elderly, and schools: first COVID-19 wave in the Czech Republic

medRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Feb 16:2020.11.06.20227330. doi: 10.1101/2020.11.06.20227330.


Running across the globe for more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic keeps demonstrating its strength. Despite a lot of understanding, uncertainty regarding the efficiency of interventions still persists. We developed an age-structured epidemic model parameterized with sociological data for the Czech Republic and found that (1) delaying the spring 2020 lockdown by four days produced twice as many confirmed cases by the end of the lockdown period, (2) personal protective measures such as face masks appear more effective than just a reduction of social contacts, (3) only sheltering the elderly is by no means effective, and (4) leaving schools open is a risky strategy. Despite the onset of vaccination, an evidence-based choice and timing of non-pharmaceutical interventions still remains the most important weapon against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication types

  • Preprint