ESTIMATING THE POSSIBLE ROLE OF TESTING CAPACITY AND SOCIAL DISTANCING IN PREDICTING THE GROWTH RATE OF DAILY COVID-19 CASES

Authors

  • Muhammad Zeeshan Haroon Department of Community Medicine, Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad
  • Suhaib Ali Khan
  • Shahbaz Ali Khan Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, Pakistan
  • Kashif Ali Khan
  • Awais Nawaz Khan
  • Muhammad Umer Farooq
  • Ahsan Aurangzeb Department of Neurosurgery, Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad

Abstract

Background: First identified case of the severe acute respiratory distress syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in the city of Wuhan, China in December, 2019. The virus quickly spread to the rest of the world leading to an ongoing global pandemic. Globally, various initiatives were set in place, to avoid the further spread of the virus while the world continued to struggle for finding a solution. This study was conducted to estimate the effect of social distancing (days since imposition of a lock-down) and the number of daily tests conducted per million population on the daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases. Methods: After excluding the first 30 days since the announcement of an index case in a country, relevant data for the next forty days was collected from four countries: Belgium, Italy, South Korea and United Kingdom. Two online databases: Our World in Data and worldometer were used for the collection of data which included the number of new COVID-19 cases and the number of tests conducted on a given day. The acquired figures were transformed into per million population of the given country. Growth rate of daily COVID-19 cases was derived and was used as the regress and in a multiple linear regression with number of tests per million population per day and the number of days since a lock-down was imposed as the regressors. Results: It was found that the growth rate of daily COVID-19 cases decreased by .051% when the number of daily tests conducted per million population increased by 1. A .532% decrease in the growth rate of daily COVID-19 cases was observed with each passing day of a lock-down, which essentially represented the most effective form of social distancing. A significant regression was calculated (F(2,155) = 35.191 , p =.014), with an R2 of .054. Neither the daily number of tests conducted per million population nor the number of days of maintaining social distancing (lock-down) were individually significant contributors to the prediction of the growth rate of daily COVID-19 cases (p=.267 and p=.554 respectively). Conclusions: Extensive and rapid increase in the daily number of testing capacity and maintaining social distancing can decrease the growth rate of daily COVID-19 cases. Depending on the availability of the required resources, timely implementation of these measures can lead to better outcomes for a given population.Keywords: COVID-19, SARS, Social Distancing, Pandemic, Corona Virus

References

REFERENCES

WHO. Technical guidance: Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it [Internet]. World Health Organization 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 17]. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it

WHO. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Situation report -75 [internet]. World Health Organization

[cited 2020 Apr 17]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200404-sitrep-75-covid-19.pdf

CDC. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): How COVID-19 spreads [internet]. Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 17]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html

REUTERS. World news: Wuhan lockdown ‘unprecedented’, shows commitment to contain virus [internet].

REUTERS 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 17]. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-who/wuhan-lockdown-unprecedented-shows-commitment-to-contain-virus-who-representative-in-china-idUSKBN1ZM1G9

Worldometer. Coronavirus: China [internet]. Worldometer 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/china/

CDS. CRONACHE: Coronavirus, primi due casi in Italia: due turisti cinesi, marito e moglie. In Italia da 7 giorni (atterrati a Milano) [internet]. Corriere Della Sera 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.corriere.it/cronache/20_gennaio_31/virus-primi-due-casi-italia-due-cinesi-marito-moglie-italia-dieci-giorni-e365df1c-43b3-11ea-bdc8-faf1f56f19b7.shtml

La Repubblica. Politica: Decreto coronavirus, ecco tutte le misure del governo [internet]. La republica 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.repubblica.it/politica/2020/03/01/news/coronavirus_misure_governo-249980561/

CNN. World: All of italy is in lockdown as coronavirus case rise [internet]. Cable News Network 2020

[cited 2020 Apr 18]. Available from: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/09/europe/coronavirus-italy-lockdown-intl/index.html

The Guardian. World: Italy charges more than 40,000 people with violating lockdown [internet]. The Guardian 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/italy-charges-more-than-40000-people-violating-lockdown-coronavirus

Worldometer. Coronavirus: Italy [internet]. Worldometer 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 19]. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

REUTERS. World news: South Korea confirms first case of new Coronavirus in Chinese visitor [internet].

REUTERS 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 19]. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-pneumonia-south-korea/south-korea-confirms-first-case-of-new-coronavirus-in-chinese-visitor-idUSKBN1ZJ0C4

World Bank Blogs. Korea’s response to COVID-19: Early lessons in tackling the pandemic [internet]. World Bank Blogs 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 20]. Available from: https://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/koreas-response-covid-19-early-lessons-tackling-pandemic

WHO. COVID-19: Virtual Press conference 18 March, 2020 [internet]. World Health Organization 2020

[cited 2020 Apr 20]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/who-audio-emergencies-coronavirus-press-conference-full-18mar2020b4d4018fc1904605831b6a08d31e0cbc.pdf?sfvrsn=1f444736_4

Our World in Data. Statistics and Research: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing [internet]. Our World in

Data 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 20]. Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing

Worldometer. Coronavirus Update (Live): Cases and Deaths [internet]. Worldometer 2020 [cited 2020 Apr

. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

FPS. Coronavirus COVID-19: One repatriated Belgian has tested positive for the novel coronavirus [internet]. Federal Public Services Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/news/one-repatriated-belgian-has-tested-positive-for-the-novel-coronavirus/

DW. Europe: Coronavirus – What are the lockdown measures across Europe [internet]. Deutsche Welle

[cited 2020 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-what-are-the-lockdown-measures-across-europe/a-52905137

Worldometer. Belgium Coronavirus: Cases and Deaths [internet]. Worldometer 2020 [cited 2020 Apr 22].

Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/belgium/

Worldometer. South Korea Coronavirus: Cases and Deaths [ineternet]. Worldometer 2020 [cited 2020 Apr

. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

OSC. COVID-19 Cases in the UK: Daily Update [internet]. OPEN STATS CORONAVIRUS 2020 [cited

Apr 23]. Available from: https://www.coronavirus-statistiques.com/stats-pays/covid-19-cases-uk/

Worldometer. United Kingdom Coronvirus: Cases and Deaths [internet]. Worldometer 2020 [cited 2020

Apr 23]. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/

Downloads

Published

2021-01-18

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>