Report 21: Estimating COVID-19 cases and reproduction number in Brazil
Thomas A Mellan,
Henrique H Hoeltgebaum,
Ricardo P Schnekenberg,
H Juliette T Unwin,
Michaela A. C. Vollmer,
Nuno Rodrigues Faria,
Laura V. Cooper,
Sabine L van Elsland,
Kris V Parag,
Hayley A Thompson,
Oliver John Watson,
Steven M Riley,
Neil M. Ferguson,
Christl A Donnelly,
Posted 18 May 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.09.20096701
Posted 18 May 2020
Brazil is currently reporting the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world. Here we characterise the initial dynamics of COVID-19 across the country and assess the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that were implemented using a semi-mechanistic Bayesian hierarchical modelling approach. Our results highlight the significant impact these NPIs had across states, reducing an average R_t >3 to an average of 1.5 by 9-May-2020, but that these interventions failed to reduce R_t <1, congruent with the worsening epidemic Brazil has experienced since. We identify extensive heterogeneity in the epidemic trajectory across Brazil, with the estimated number of days to reach 0.1 % of the state population infected since the first nationally recorded case ranging from 20 days in Sao Paulo compared to 60 days in Goias, underscoring the importance of sub-national analyses in understanding asynchronous state-level epidemics underlying the national spread and burden of COVID-19.
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