COVID-19 simulation study-the effect of strict non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on controlling the spread of COVID-19

PeerJ. 2021 Mar 30:9:e11172. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11172. eCollection 2021.


Background: From the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 infection has changed our lives in many aspects and introduced limitations in the way people interact and communicate. In this paper, we are evaluating the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) in limiting the spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 pandemic during a wedding ceremony from Irbid, Northern Jordan. Agent-based modeling was used in a real wedding event that occurred at the beginning of the spread of the pandemic in Jordan. Two infected nationals of Jordan, who arrived in Jordan about a week before the event, initiated the spread of the pandemic within the contact community.

Methods: In this work, a strict national NPI that the government implemented is developed by using an abstract model with certain characteristics similar to the Jordanian community. Thus, the Jordanian community is represented in terms of ages, occupations, and population movements. After that, the extent of the impact of the NPI measures on the local community is measured.

Results: We observed the deterioration of the state of society while the epidemic is spreading among individuals in the absence of preventive measures. Also, the results show that the herd immunity case was an epidemic, with a high level of spread among the community with 918 cases during a short interval of time. On the other hand, the preventive measures scenario shows a totally controlled spread with only 74 cases applied on the same interval of time. Furthermore, a convergence in the actual results of the real system with the hypothetical system were detected in the case of applying the strict NPI measures. Finally, strict NPI at the community level following social gatherings seem to be effective measures to control the spread of the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Keywords: Agent-based modeling; COVID-19; Epidemic; NPIs; SARS-COV-2.

Grants and funding

This project is funded by the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.