Westerhoff and Kolodkin 2020 COVID19 model

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Model scheme
Model imported to BIOUML

Model[1] comprises 14 compartments including healthy subjects (tested and non-tested), infected (testes/non-tested), symptomatic (tested/non-tested), recovered (tested/non-tested), dead from COVID-19 (tested/non-tested) and dead from other reasons (tested/non-tested). It uses standard methodology for epidemic models. Main focus in the model has government induced social distancing in order to prevent epidemic spread. Adaptive strategy is implemented.

Main preditions of the model are:

  • it will be impossible to limit lockdown intensity such that sufficient herd immunity develops for this epidemic to die down,
  • the death toll from the SARS-CoV-2 virus decreases very strongly with increasing intensity of the lockdown, but
  • the duration of the epidemic increases at first with that intensity and then decreases again, such that * it may be best to begin with selecting a lockdown intensity beyond the intensity that leads to the maximum duration,
  • an intermittent lock down strategy should also work and be more acceptable socially and economically,
  • an initially intensive but adaptive lockdown strategy should be most efficient, both in terms of its low number casualties and shorter duration,
  • such an adaptive lockdown strategy offers the advantage of being robust to unexpected imports of the virus, e.g. due to international travel,
  • the eradication strategy may still be superior as it leads to even fewer deaths and a shorter period of economic lockdown maximum, but should have the adaptive strategy as backup in case of unexpected inflation imports
  • earlier detection of infections is perhaps the most effective way in which the epidemic can be controlled more readily, whilst waiting for vaccines.

Model is available at fairdom


  1. Westerhoff H. V., Kolodkin A.N. Advice from a systems-biology model of the Corona epidemics. medRxiv preprint 2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.29.20045039
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