Investigation into the convergence of the COVID-19 epidemic via a SIR model


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Over a period of time, does COVID-19 cause infections to explode, or is it a convergence? If the infection converges, what kind of convergence will occur? Two economics researchers studied the above two hypotheses using data freely available in Japan.

As the economic booms of expansion and slowdown, the number of infections is increasing and contracting repeatedly, but the number of COVID-19 cases has naturally declined by about -3% by March 2021 in Japan, the latest data used for the study. The growth rate of the number of people infected in the Japanese prefectures with the highest number of infected people increased initially and decreased thereafter. Focusing on the growth rate of the number of infected people over time, the growth rate has been observed to be high in the early stages of infection when the cumulative number of infected people is low and gradually decreases as the infection progresses. as the cumulative number of infected people increases. By examining and re-examining behavior based on appropriate information, we can control infections and accelerate convergence. We have no choice but to live with COVID-19, but it is possible to do so through risk management.

Professor Hiroaki Masuhara of the Faculty of Economics and Law of Shinshu University with Professor Kei Hosoya of the Faculty of Economics of Kogakuin University used a mathematical model of infectious diseases to show that the phenomenon of convergence is universal and has provided evidence with freely available data from Japan. Initially, researchers from countries outside of Asia found the study results hard to believe because the COVID-19 situation in Japan was relatively mild compared to countries outside of Asia.

Professor Masuhara says he felt relief when he saw the signs of convergence and was able to confirm them with models and mathematical data. The team first noticed signs of convergence around September 2020, when examining data for June and August 2020. This infection convergence assumption is similar to the growth theory convergence assumption. economic and could be demonstrated in mathematical models and could be confirmed with long-term data.

Researchers will continue to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on the region using the data. The rise in COVID-19 infections has resulted in behavioral restraint in Japan and lockdowns in other countries. This affects not only public health, but also the local economy. Concretely, behavioral restraint will lead to lower sales in the restaurant and hotel sectors, and will also affect production. Researchers aim to clarify what actions to take in response to COVID-19 to minimize the impact on the data-backed economy.

COVID-19 pandemic growth rate may be obscured due to changes in testing rates

More information:
Hiroaki Masuhara et al, Convergent movement of the COVID-19 epidemic in Japan based on the SIR model, Economic analysis and policy (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.eap.2021.10.016

Provided by Shinshu University

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