Evaluating Tunisia’s Covid-19 spread and control policies using mathematical and epidemiological simulations

Published In: Journal of Public Health in Africa
Article Link: https://www.publichealthinafrica.org/index.php/jphia/article/view/1420/598
Author(s): Slimane Ben Miled and Amira Kebir

Evaluating Tunisia’s Covid-19 spread and control policies using mathematical and epidemiological simulations
Photo Illustration: Evaluating Tunisia’s Covid-19 spread and control policies using mathematical and epidemiological simulations
Photo Credit: IndiaTimes

Dr. Slimane Ben Miled and Dr. Amira Kebir of the University of Tunis El Manar while using mathematical and epidemiological models created a simulation of the spread of COVID-19 and control policies in Tunisia.

In the study background, the researchers posited that on March 11, 2020, the WHO announced that the COVID-19 outbreak had become pandemic, indicating that it was autonomous on several continents. Tunisia’s targeted containment and screening strategy aligns with the WHO’s initial guidelines. This method is now showing its limitations. Mass screening in some countries shows that asymptomatic patients play an important role in spreading the virus through the population.

The goal of their study was to first; assess Tunisia’s COVID-19 control policies, and then understand the effect of various detection, quarantine and confinement strategies and the rule of asymptomatic patients on the spread of the virus in the Tunisian population.

They developed and analyzed a mathematical and epidemiological model for COVID- 19 in Tunisia. The data used, come from the Tunisian Health Commission dataset.

They were able to successfully calibrate different parameters of the model based on the Tunisian data, calculated the expression of the basic reproduction number R0 as a function of the model parameters and, finally, carried out simulations of interventions and compared different strategies for suppressing and controlling the epidemic.

In conclusion, the researchers were able show that Tunisia’s control policies are effective in screening infected and asymptomatic persons.

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