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Short-term analysis and long-term predictions for the COVID-19 epidemic in a seasonality regime: the Italian case

By Giulia Simoni, Anna Fochesato, Federico Reali, Giulia Giordano, Enrico Domenici, Luca Marchetti

Posted 16 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.15.20154500

As of July 14th, COVID-19 has caused in Italy 34.984 deaths and 243.344 infection cases. Strict lockdown policies were necessary to contain the first outbreak wave and prevent the Italian healthcare system from being overwhelmed by patients requiring intensive care. After the progressive reopening, predicting how the epidemic situation will evolve is urgent and fundamental to control any future outbreak and prevent a second wave. We defined a time-varying optimization procedure to repeatedly calibrate the SIDARTHE model with data up to June 24th. The computed parameter distributions allow us to robustly analyse how the epidemic situation evolved and outline possible future scenarios. Assuming a seasonal regime for COVID-19, we tested different lockdown policies. Our results suggest that an intermittent lockdown where six "open days" are allowed every other week may prevent a resurgent exponential outbreak and, at the same time, ease the societal burden of an extensive lockdown.

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