ENBIS COVID-19 Webinar Series 5

3 June 2020; 15:00 – 15:45

COVID-19 Pandemic Control: Balancing Detection Policy and Lockdown Intervention Under ICU Sustainability (Arthur Charpentier)


 Date and Time: 03 June 2020, Wednesday at 15:00 CEST

 Speaker: Dr. Arthur Charpentier, Professor, University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada

Moderator: Murat Caner Testik

Link to Talk: https://youtu.be/_6BUpEKaL9A

Abstract: We consider here an extended $SIR$ model, including several features of the recent COVID-19 outbreak: in particular the infected and recovered individuals can either be detected (+) or undetected (-) and we also integrate an intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. Our model enables a tractable quantitative analysis of the optimal policy for the control of the epidemic dynamics using both lockdown and detection intervention levers. With parametric specification based on literature on COVID-19, we investigate the sensitivities of various quantities on the optimal strategies, taking into account the subtle trade-off between the sanitary and the socio-economic cost of the pandemic, together with the limited capacity level of ICU. We identify the optimal lockdown policy as an intervention structured in 4 successive phases: First a quick and strong lockdown intervention to stop the exponential growth of the contagion; second a short transition phase to reduce the prevalence of the virus; third a long period with full ICU capacity and stable virus prevalence; finally a return to normal social interactions with disappearance of the virus. The optimal scenario hereby avoids the second wave of infection, provided the lockdown is released sufficiently slowly. We also provide optimal intervention measures with increasing ICU capacity, as well as optimization over the effort on detection of infectious and immune individuals. Whenever massive resources are introduced to detect infected individuals, the pressure on social distancing can be released, whereas the impact of detection of immune individuals reveals to be more moderate.