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A control theory approach to optimal pandemic mitigation

MPS-Authors
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Godara,  Prakhar
Group Collective phenomena far from equilibrium, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Herminghaus,  Stephan
Group Collective phenomena far from equilibrium, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Heidemann,  Knut M.
Group Physics of social systems, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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2009.02513.pdf
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Citation

Godara, P., Herminghaus, S., & Heidemann, K. M. (2021). A control theory approach to optimal pandemic mitigation. PLoS One, 16(2): e0247445. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0247445.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-034D-0
Abstract
In the framework of homogeneous susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) models, we use a control theory approach to identify optimal pandemic mitigation strategies. We derive rather general conditions for reaching herd immunity while minimizing the costs incurred by the introduction of societal control measures (such as closing schools, social distancing, lockdowns, etc.), under the constraint that the infected fraction of the population does never exceed a certain maximum corresponding to public health system capacity. Optimality is derived and verified by variational and numerical methods for a number of cost model functions. The effects of immune response decay after recovery are taken into account and discussed in terms of the feasibility of strategies based on herd immunity.