The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020–21 has been a major challenge to public health systems worldwide. Mathematical models of epidemic are useful tools for assessment of the situation and for providing decision-making support for relevant authorities. We developed and implemented SEIR(MH) model that extends the conventional SEIR model with parameters that define public lockdown (the level and start of lockdown) and the medical system capacity to contain patients. Comparative modeling of four regions in Europe that have similar population sizes and age structures, but different public health systems, was performed: Baden-Württemberg, Lombardy, Belgium, and Switzerland. Modeling suggests that the most effective measure for controlling epidemic is early lockdown (exponential effect), followed by the number of available hospital beds (linear effect if the capacity is insufficient, with diminishing returns when the capacity is sufficient). Dynamic management of lockdown levels is likely to produce better outcomes than strict lockdown.
- hospital capacity
- mathematical model
- public health policies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health