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Coronavirus: policy design for stable population recovery

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Mar 29, 2020

On March 29, 2020, the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) released a blog on how the economic impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as physical distancing and confinement can be significant to an extent and depth that are not yet fully known.

The research on Covid19 is changing rapidly and flattening the curve has quickly become a widely known strategy to reduce the peak demand on healthcare thanks to very important and public work of dedicated teams of epidemiologists around the world. The goals tend to be to first to bring the caseload under initial control and then manage a long-term return to normal while minimizing both death rates and economic impact. More specifically comparing and contrasting strategies such as (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread (having the so-called reproduction number R0 small but larger than 1), and (b) suppression, which aims at reversing epidemic growth, thus reducing case numbers to low levels (R0 smaller than 1). Indeed, NPI’s can be implemented that change R0 in order to control epidemic spread. What we are proposing is a systematically designed feedback strategy to change R0 through modulation of NPI’s.

Review the blog on IFAC's website.

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