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Limited containment options of COVID-19 outbreak revealed by regional agent-based simulations for South Africa

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Bossert,  Andreas
Group Next generation mobility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Kersting,  Moritz
Group Next generation mobility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Feki,  Azza
Group Next generation mobility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Schlueter,  Jan
Group Next generation mobility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bossert, A., Kersting, M., Timme, M., Schröder, M., Feki, A., Coetzee, J., et al. (2021). Limited containment options of COVID-19 outbreak revealed by regional agent-based simulations for South Africa. F1000Research, 10: 98. doi:10.12688/f1000research.28250.1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-F58F-4
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 has spread from China across Europe and the United States and has become a global pandemic. In countries of the Global South, due to often weaker socioeconomic options and health care systems, effective local countermeasures remain debated. Methods: We combine large-scale socioeconomic and traffic survey data with detailed agent-based simulations of local transportation to analyze COVID-19 spreading in a regional model for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in South Africa under a range of countermeasure scenarios. Results: The simulations indicate that any realistic containment strategy, including those similar to the one ongoing in South Africa, may yield a manifold overload of available intensive care units. Only immediate and the most severe countermeasures, up to a complete lock-down that essentially inhibits all joint human activities, can contain the epidemic effectively. Conclusions: As South Africa exhibits rather favorable conditions compared to many other countries of the Global South, our findings constitute rough conservative estimates and may support identifying strategies towards containing COVID-19 as well as any major future pandemics in these countries.