Mathematical Model of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in South Korea: The Impacts of Travel Restrictions, Social Distancing, and Early Detection
Processes , Volume 8; doi:10.3390/pr8101304
Abstract: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) poses a severe threat to public health officials all around the world. The early COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea displayed significant spatial heterogeneity. The number of confirmed cases increased rapidly in the Daegu and Gyeongbuk (epicenter), whereas the spread was much slower in the rest of Korea. A two-patch mathematical model with a mobility matrix is developed to capture this significant spatial heterogeneity of COVID-19 outbreaks from 18 February to 24 March 2020. The mobility matrix is taken from the movement data provided by the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI). Some of the essential patch-specific parameters are estimated through cumulative confirmed cases, including the transmission rates and the basic reproduction numbers (local and global). Our simulations show that travel restrictions between the epicenter and the rest of Korea effectively prevented massive outbreaks in the rest of Korea. Furthermore, we explore the effectiveness of several additional strategies for the mitigation and suppression of Covid-19 spread in Korea, such as implementing social distancing and early diagnostic interventions.
Keywords: Cumulative Incidence / Basic reproduction number / social distancing / Mobility Data / Travel Restrictions / COVID-19 transmission dynamics in South Korea / two-patch mathematical model / early diagnostic interventions
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