CoVID-19 in Singapore: Impact of Contact Tracing and Self-awareness on Healthcare Demand


Background. A great concern around the globe now is to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic via contact tracing. Analyzing the control strategies during the first five months of 2020 in Singapore is important to estimate the effectiveness of contacting tracing measures. Methods. We developed a mathematical model to simulate the COVID-19 epidemic in Singapore, with local cases stratified into 5 categories according to the conditions of contact tracing and self-awareness. Key parameters of each category were estimated from local surveillance data. We also simulated a set of possible scenarios to predict the effects of contact tracing and self-awareness for the following month. Findings. During January 23 - March 16, 2020, the success probabilities of contact tracing and self-awareness were estimated to be 31% (95% CI 28%-33%) and 54% (95% CI 51%-57%), respectively. During March 17 - April 7, 2020, several social distancing measures (e.g., limiting mass gathering) were introduced in Singapore, which, however, were estimated with minor contribution to reduce the non-tracing reproduction number per local case (𝑅𝑙,2). If contact tracing and self-awareness cannot be further improved, we predict that the COVID-19 epidemic will continue to spread in Singapore if 𝑅𝑙,2 ≥ 1.5. Conclusion. Contact tracing and self-awareness can mitigate the COVID-19 transmission, and can be one of the key strategies to ensure a sustainable reopening after lifting the lockdown.

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