The Role of Mathematical Model in Curbing COVID-19 in Nigeria
Keywords:COVID-19, intervention measures, basic reproduction number, mass testing, social distancing, face masks, mathematical model
AbstractCOVID-19 is a viral disease that is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) which has no approved vaccine. Based on the available non-pharmacological interventions like wearing of face masks, observing social distancing, and lockdown, this work assesses the impact of non-pharmaceutical control measures (social distancing and use of face-masks) and mass testing on the transmission of COVID-19 in Nigeria. A mathematical model for COVID-19 is formulated with intervention measures (observing social distancing and wearing of face masks) and mass testing. The basic reproduction number, R_0, is computed using next-generation method while the disease-free equilibrium is found to be locally and globally asymptotically stable when R_0< 1. The model is parameterized using Nigeria data on COVID-19 in Nigeria. The basic reproduction number is found to be less than unity (R_0 < 1) either when the compliance with intervention measures is moderate (50% <= alpha< 70%) and the testing rate per day is moderate (0,5 <=alpha_2 < 0,7) or when the compliance with intervention measures is strict (alpha>=70%) and the testing rate per day is poor (alpha_2 = 0,3). This implies that Nigeria will be able to halt the spread of COVID-19 under these two conditions. However, it will be easier to enforce strict compliance with intervention measures in the presence of poor testing rate due to the limited availability of testing facilities and manpower in Nigeria. Hence, this study advocates that Nigerian governments (Federal and States) should aim at achieving a testing rate of at least 0.3 per day while ensuring that all the citizens strictly comply with wearing face masks and observing social distancing in public.
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