Kuwait had its first COVID-19 in late February, and until October 6, 2020 it recorded 108,268 cases and 632 deaths. Despite implementing one of the strictest control measures-including a three-week complete lockdown, there was no sign of a declining epidemic curve. The objective of the current analyses is to determine, hypothetically, the optimal timing and duration of a full lockdown in Kuwait that would result in controlling new infections and lead to a substantial reduction in case hospitalizations.
The analysis was conducted using a stochastic Continuous-Time Markov Chain (CTMC), eight state model that depicts the disease transmission and spread of SARS-CoV 2. Transmission of infection occurs between individuals through social contacts at home, in schools, at work, and during other communal activities.
The model shows that a lockdown 10 days before the epidemic peak for 90 days is optimal but a more realistic duration of 45 days can achieve about a 45% reduction in both new infections and case hospitalizations.
In the view of the forthcoming waves of the COVID19 pandemic anticipated in Kuwait using a correctly-timed and sufficiently long lockdown represents a workable management strategy that encompasses the most stringent form of social distancing with the ability to significantly reduce transmissions and hospitalizations.
Al-Zoughool, M., Oraby, T., Vainio, H. et al. Using a stochastic continuous-time Markov chain model to examine alternative timing and duration of the COVID-19 lockdown in Kuwait: what can be done now?. Arch Public Health 80, 22 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13690-021-00778-y
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