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Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of public health measures to control COVID-19: a modelling study

By Qiang Wang, Naiyang Shi, Jinxin Huang, Tingting Cui, Liuqing Yang, Jing Ai, Hong Ji, Ke Xu, Tauseef Ahmad, Changjun Bao, Hui Jin

Posted 23 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.20.20039644

BackgroundThe Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in China, which caused a respiratory disease known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since its discovery, the virus has spread to over 160 countries and claimed more than 9800 deaths. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various response public health measures. MethodsThe stochastic agent-based model was used to simulate the process of COVID-19 outbreak in scenario I (imported one case) and II (imported four cases) with a series of public health measures, involving the personal protection, isolation-and-quarantine, gathering restriction, and community containment. The virtual community was constructed following the susceptible-latent-infectious-recovered framework. The epidemiological and economic parameters derived from the previous literature and field investigation. The main outcomes included avoided infectors, cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). The sensitivity analyses were undertaken to assess uncertainty. ResultsIn scenario I and II, the isolation-and-quarantine averted 1696 and 1990 humans infected respectively at the cost of US$12 428 and US$58 555, both with negative value of ICERs. The joint strategy of personal protection and isolation-and-quarantine could avert one more case than single isolation-and-quarantine with additional cost of US$166 871 and US$180 140 respectively. The effectiveness of isolation-and-quarantine decreased as lowering quarantine probability and increasing delay-time. Especially in scenario II, when the quarantine probability was less than 25%, the number of infections raised sharply; when the quarantine delay-time reached six days, more than a quarter of individuals would be infected in the community. The strategy including community containment could protect more lives and was cost-effective, when the number of imported cases was no less than 65, or the delay-time of quarantine was more than five days, or the quarantine probability was below 25%, based on current assumptions. ConclusionsThe isolation-and-quarantine was the most cost-effective intervention. However, personal protection and isolation-and-quarantine was the optimal strategy averting more infectors than single isolation-and-quarantine. Certain restrictions should be considered, such as more initial imported cases, longer quarantine delay-time and lower quarantine probability.

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