COMMENTARY - Developing COVID-19 Simulation Tool for Low and Middle-Income Countries: The Nigerian Case Study

Emmanuel Aluko, Rotimi A. Jaiyesimi

Abstract

The MRC centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College has created a COVID-19 simulation for 130 Low and Middle countries available at covidsim.org. The simulation shows an epidemic trajectory and healthcare demand pattern for selected countries based on logic that is said to be a venture between Imperial College, London and a private firm, Bio Nano Consulting, The Jameel Group and is research funded by the Wellcome Trust and UK Aid from the UK government. The commentary focuses on the results that pertain to Nigeria, the country of interest of the authors. Although the simulation looks at mortality outcomes based on interventions and healthcare demand and supply situation, the emphasis of the commentary was on number for infections and associated mortality as displayed by the simulation.

The inputs and the outputs of the model were critiqued. A result of the model was that a population far in excess of the country’s population is expected to be infected, and the simulated deaths associated with these numbers of infected people were considered excessive, improbable and unjustifiable. Suggestions were made to improve the simulated outputs, and a conclusion of the adjusted model involving calibrating the model for actual results envisaged thus far and adjusting for the population that is expected to be infected based on the basic reproduction number, herd immunity and age demography resulted in a much lower estimate of mortality. This resulted in a reduction of simulated deaths from 989,475 deaths from the original model to 19,719 deaths in the adjusted model.

Keywords

Key words –COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus, Epidemic modelling

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References

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