Dynamically adjustable SVEIR(MH) model of multiwave epidemics: Estimating the effects of public health measures against COVID-19

Zuo jing Yin, Han Xiao, Stuart McDonald, Vladimir Brusic, Tian yi Qiu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic was characterized by multiple subsequent, overlapping outbreaks, as well as extremely rapid changes in viral genomes. The information about local epidemics spread and the epidemic control measures was shared on a daily basis (number of cases and deaths) via centralized repositories. The vaccines were developed within the first year of the pandemic. New modes of monitoring and sharing of epidemic data were implemented using Internet resources. We modified the basic SEIR compartmental model to include public health measures, multiwave scenarios, and the variation of viral infectivity and transmissibility reflected by the basic reproduction number R0 of emerging viral variants. SVEIR(MH) model considers the capacity of the medical system, lockdowns, vaccination, and changes in viral reproduction rate on the epidemic spread. The developed model uses daily infection reports for assessing the epidemic dynamics, and daily changes of mobility data from mobile phone networks to assess the lockdown effectiveness. This model was deployed to six European regions Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Belgium, Czechia, Lombardy (Italy), Sweden, and Switzerland for the first 2 years of the pandemic. The correlation coefficients between observed and reported infection data showed good concordance for both years of the pandemic (ρ = 0.84–0.94 for the raw data and ρ = 0.91–0.98 for smoothed 7-day averages). The results show stability across the regions and the different epidemic waves. Optimal control of epidemic waves can be achieved by dynamically adjusting epidemic control measures in real-time. SVEIR(MH) model can simulate different scenarios and inform adjustments to the public health policies to achieve the target outcomes. Because this model is highly representative of actual epidemic situations, it can be used to assess both the public health and socioeconomic effects of the public health measures within the first 7 days of the outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29301
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • communicable disease control
  • extended SEIR model
  • infection estimation
  • multiple waves
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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