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Preliminary evaluation of voluntary event cancellation as a countermeasure against the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan as of 11 March, 2020

By Yoshiyuki Sugishita, Junko Kurita, Tamie Sugawara, Yasushi Ohkusa

Posted 16 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.12.20035220

BackgroundTo control COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, sports and entertainment events were canceled in Japan for two weeks from 26 February to 11 March. It has been designated as voluntary event cancellation (VEC). ObjectThis study predicts the effectiveness of VEC enduring and after its implementation. MethodWe applied a simple susceptible-infected-recovery model to data of patients with symptoms in Japan during 14 January to VEC introduction and after VEC introduction to 8 March. We adjusted the reporting delay in the latest few days. ResultsResults suggest that the basic reproduction number, R0, before VEC introduced as 2.50 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was [2.43, 2.55] and the effective reproduction number, Rv, after VEC introduced as 1. 88; its 95% CI was [1.68,2.02]. Discussion and ConclusionResults demonstrated that VEC can reduce COVID-19 infectiousness by 35%, but R0 remains higher than one.

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