Real-time monitoring the transmission potential of COVID-19 in Singapore, February 2020


The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic that has spread widely in China since December 2019 is now generating local transmission in several countries including Singapore of February 19, 2020. This highlights the need to monitor transmission potential of unfolding SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in real time. In particular, five major COVID-19 clusters have emerged in Singapore. Here we estimate the effective reproduction number, Rt, for Singapore from the daily case series of imported and autochthonous cases by date of symptoms onset, after adjusting the local cases for reporting delays, using a generalized growth model and employing a renewal equation. We also derive the reproduction number from the distribution of cluster sizes using a branching process analysis. As of February 19th, 2020, our results indicate that the mean effective reproduction number Rt is at 1.1 (95% CI: 1.1,1.3) while an estimate of Rt based on cluster size distribution is at 0.63 (95% CI: 0.4, 1.05). These estimates underscore positive impact of containment efforts in Singapore while at the same time suggest the need to sustain social distancing and active case finding efforts to stomp out all active chains of transmission. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Funding Statement G.C. is supported by NSF grants 1610429 and 1633381. ### Author Declarations All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript. Yes All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes All data are publicly available.

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Tariq Amna, Lee Yiseul, Roosa Kimberlyn, Blumberg Seth, Yan Ping, MA Stefan, Chowell Gerardo. (2020). Real-time monitoring the transmission potential of COVID-19 in Singapore, February 2020. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press