COVID 19 Epidemic Trajectory Modeling Results for Ethiopia
Background: An outbreak of “pneumonia of unknown etiology" later renamed as Novel Corona Virus (COVID 19) was first reported from Hubei Province, China on 31 December 2019. The cases have increased exponentially; the pandemic has reached all countries in the world with 81.2 million confirmed cases and over 1.8 million by December 28, 2020. Ethiopia reported its first case on March 13, 2020, and as of December 28, 2020, the country had 122864 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1909 deaths. Being a new pandemic its epidemiologic trajectories across regions and populations remains unknown. Mathematical models are widely used to understand and predict the possible courses of an outbreak, given a set of underlying assumptions.
Objective: This study intends to model COVID 19 epidemic trajectory under different assumptions and to predict the likely timing of peak of the epidemic in Ethiopia.
Methods: Standard Susceptible Exposed, Infected and Recovery (SEIR) compartmental epidemiological deterministic model was employed to estimate and predict COVID 19 in progression in Ethiopia and Addis Ababa at different points of time. Exhaustive literature reviews were carried out to contextualize COVID 19 pandemic epidemiological. Efficacy and coverage of face mask and social distancing were considered in the best and worst situation to run the model and estimate the number of infections after sustained local transmissions.
Result. Without any intervention, the COVID 19 viruses spread will peak at 150 days from the first report, infecting 8.01million people given local/community transmission. As the compliance with face mask coverage increases by 25%, 50%, and 75%, the infection will be reduced by about 20%, 40%, and 60% respectively social distancing compliance by le 25% of the population alone will reduce above 60% of infections. Compliance of 40% face mask use and social distance combined effect will reduce 97% of the estimated number of cases.
Conclusion: This predication indicated that compliance with combination of non-pharmaceutical intervention such as use of face mask use with physical distance averted significant number of COVID infection. For a county like Ethiopia with poor health systems resilience, mitigating the pandemic at an early stage through strong preventive measures is necessary. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-1):25-32]
Key word: COVID 19, Modelling, Non-Pharmaceutica intervention, Ethiopia