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Mathematical Models of COVID-19: Success Can’t be Guaranteed But Containment Possible
In a document, the health ministry said that when other public health interventions are combined with an effective social distancing strategy, mathematical modelling studies suggested that containment might be possible.
New Delhi: As India’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases inched closer to 86,000-mark, Union health ministry said that mathematical modeling studies suggest containment of COVID-19 might be possible, however, success of containment operations “can’t be guaranteed”. Notably, India has reported a total of 85,940 cases and 2,752 deaths so far (including 53035 active cases, 30153 cured/migrated).
“Since there is efficient human to human transmission, success of containment operations cannot be guaranteed. Mathematical modeling studies suggest containment might be possible,” the health ministry stated yesterday, adding that here is no approved drug or vaccine for the treatment of COVID-19 as of now and Chemoprophylaxis with Hydroxychloroquine are recommended for healthcare workers and high risk contacts.
Earlier in March, Dr. Bhalchandra Pujari and Dr. Snehal Shekatkar of Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CMS) – had developed a mathematical model to predict the spread of the disease by investigating transport links between cities. They found that it was necessary to shut down the transport network for effective measures.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Shekhatkar said, “The mathematical models used three groups of people — infected, recovered and susceptible. They are divided into nine sub–groups. Hence this model is more specific. According to me, an important finding of this model is that the more you test, the lesser the need for people to stay under lockdown.”
Meanwhile, in a document, the health ministry said that when other public health interventions are combined with an effective social distancing strategy, mathematical modelling studies suggested that containment might be possible.
It also listed some of the factors affecting large outbreak cluster containment. A number of variables determine the success of the containment operations through geographic quarantine which include the number and size of the cluster and also how efficiently the virus is transmitting in Indian population, taking into account environmental factors especially temperature and humidity, it said.
The factors also include public health response in terms of active case finding, testing of large number of cases, immediate isolation of suspect and confirmed cases and quarantine of contacts along with the geographical characteristics of the area.
(With agency inputs)