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Fighting the coronavirus: the window of opportunity for non-pharmacological interventions is narrow




Covid-19, non-pharmaceutical intervention, Richards growth model, fatality cures, stategies


In this technical note, we present a brief discussion of the main results reported in our paper “Modelling fatality curves of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of intervention strategies”, MedRxiv/2020/051557 (DOI:10.1101/2020.04.02.20051557). In that paper, we applied the Richards growth model (RGM) to describe the fatality curves of the COVID-19 disease for countries that were, up to April 1, 2020, near the end or in an intermediary phase of the outbreak, such as China, Italy, Spain, and Iran. We also analyzed data from Brazil, which was still in the early growth regime, and so we used an alternative model (the generalized growth model) that is more appropriate for the early stages of the epidemic. We also used the RGM to study the effectiveness of possible intervention strategies and, within this context, we derived an analytic formula for the efficiency of non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies. Our findings show that there is only a narrow window, after the onset of the epidemic, during which effective countermeasures can be taken. Here we present a brief overview of the results obtained in the aforementioned paper, but we use more recent data to update our analysis. For more details, we refer the reader to the original article.


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Health Sciences