The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has grown up to be a pandemic within a short span of time. To investigate transmission dynamics and then determine control methodology, we took epidemic in Wuhan as a study case. Unfortunately, to our best knowledge, the existing models are based on the common assumption that the total population follows a homogeneous spatial distribution, which is not the case for the prevalence occurred both in the community and in hospital due to the difference in the contact rate. To solve this problem, we propose a novel epidemic model called SEIR-HC, which is a novel epidemic model with two different social circles. Using the model alongside the exclusive optimization algorithm, the spread process of COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan city is reproduced and then the propagation characteristics and unknown data are estimated. Furthermore, the control measures implemented in Wuhan are assessed and the control methodology of COVID-19 is discussed to provide guidance for limiting the epidemic spread.
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