Modelling COVID-19 dynamics
Worldwide 223,914,634 confirmed cases and 4,618,234 dead people have been identified to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) by 11th September 2021. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus SARS-COV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). The first outbreak was reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 is spreading across the globe and was declared as a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. Epidemiological modelling and forecasting of the evolution of the epidemic represent a useful tool to assist in designing better non-pharmaceutical measures and prepare for the stress on healthcare systems. We develop a new compartment-model based on Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model and described by ordinary differential equations to simulate the time evolution of the number of positive cases, the number of people entering hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) and of deaths. The model is fitted to Luxembourgish time-series data and provides fruitful insights into the dynamics behind this pandemic and the potential path to herd immunity. The aim is to vaccinate the whole population within 1 year which means on average 1,700 fully vaccinated people/day in Luxembourg. This vaccination rollout speed leads to herd immunity only by mid-summer in the case of a too low vaccination rollout speed herd immunity might not be reached in 2021. Moreover, we analysed COVID-19 crisis in Luxembourg from an economical and health perspective, therefore we build an epidemionomic model.
Overall, we show that mathematical modelling represents a powerful tool to test mechanistic hypotheses and to identify underlying principles of complex biological systems.