Dynamical SPQEIR model assesses the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 epidemic outbreaks

Daniele Proverbio*, Françoise Kemp, Stefano Magni, Andreas Husch, Atte Aalto, Laurent Mombaerts, Alexander Skupin, Jorge Gonçalves, Jose Ameijeiras-Alonso, Christophe Ley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Against the current COVID-19 pandemic, governments worldwide have devised a variety of non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate it. However, it is generally difficult to estimate the joint impact of different control strategies. In this paper, we tackle this question with an extended epidemic SEIR model, informed by a socio-political classification of different interventions. First, we inquire the conceptual effect of mitigation parameters on the infection curve. Then, we illustrate the potential of our model to reproduce and explain empirical data from a number of countries, to perform cross-country comparisons. This gives information on the best synergies of interventions to control epidemic outbreaks while minimising impact on socio-economic needs. For instance, our results suggest that, while rapid and strong lockdown is an effective pandemic mitigation measure, a combination of social distancing and early contact tracing can achieve similar mitigation synergistically, while keeping lower isolation rates. This quantitative understanding can support the establishment of mid- and long-term interventions, to prepare containment strategies against further outbreaks. This paper also provides an online tool that allows researchers and decision makers to interactively simulate diverse scenarios with our model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0252019
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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