Estimating COVID-19-Related Infections, Deaths, and Hospitalizations in Iran Under Different Physical Distancing and Isolation Scenarios

Hamid Sharifi, Yunes Jahani, Ali Mirzazadeh, Milad Ahmadi Gohari, Mehran Nakhaeizadeh, Mostafa Shokoohi, Sana Eybpoosh, Hamid Reza Tohidinik, Ehsan Mostafavi, Davood Khalili, Seyed Saeed Hashemi Nazari, Mohammad Karamouzian, Ali Akbar Haghdoost
International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2020 August 1

BACKGROUND: Iran is one of the first few countries that was hit hard with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to estimate the total number of COVID-19 related infections, deaths, and hospitalizations in Iran under different physical distancing and isolation scenarios.

METHODS: We developed a susceptible-exposed-infected/infectious-recovered/removed (SEIR) model, parameterized to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran. We used the model to quantify the magnitude of the outbreak in Iran and assess the effectiveness of isolation and physical distancing under five different scenarios (A: 0% isolation, through E: 40% isolation of all infected cases). We used Monte-Carlo simulation to calculate the 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs).

RESULTS: Under scenario A, we estimated 5 196 000 (UI 1 753 000-10 220 000) infections to happen till mid-June with 966 000 (UI 467 800-1 702 000) hospitalizations and 111 000 (UI 53 400-200 000) deaths. Successful implantation of scenario E would reduce the number of infections by 90% (ie, 550 000) and change the epidemic peak from 66 000 on June 9, to 9400 on March 1, 2020. Scenario E also reduces the hospitalizations by 92% (ie, 74 500), and deaths by 93% (ie, 7800).

CONCLUSION: With no approved vaccination or therapy available, we found physical distancing and isolation that include public awareness and case-finding and isolation of 40% of infected people could reduce the burden of COVID-19 in Iran by 90% by mid-June.

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