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Frontiers of Medicine

Front. Med.
Linking key intervention timings to rapid declining effective reproduction number to quantify lessons against COVID-19
Zhihang Peng1, Wenyu Song1, Zhongxing Ding1, Quanquan Guan2, Xu Yang2, Qiaoqiao Xu2, Xu Wang2, Yankai Xia2()
1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, China
2. Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology of Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 211166, China
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently under a global pandemic trend. The efficiency of containment measures and epidemic tendency of typical countries should be assessed. In this study, the efficiency of prevention and control measures in China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan was assessed, and the COVID-19 epidemic tendency among these countries was compared. Results showed that the effective reproduction number(Re) in Wuhan, China increased almost exponentially, reaching a maximum of 3.98 before a lockdown and rapidly decreased to below 1 due to containment and mitigation strategies of the Chinese government. The Re in Italy declined at a slower pace than that in China after the implementation of prevention and control measures. The Re in Iran showed a certain decline after the establishment of a national epidemic control command, and an evident stationary phase occurred because the best window period for the prevention and control of the epidemic was missed. The epidemic in Japan and South Korea reoccurred several times with the Re fluctuating greatly. The epidemic has hardly rebounded in China due to the implementation of prevention and control strategies and the effective enforcement of policies. Other countries suffering from the epidemic could learn from the Chinese experience in containing COVID-19.

Keywords COVID-19      epidemic control comparison      Chinese experience     
Corresponding Authors: Yankai Xia   
Just Accepted Date: 16 April 2020   Online First Date: 03 June 2020   
 Cite this article:   
Zhihang Peng,Wenyu Song,Zhongxing Ding, et al. Linking key intervention timings to rapid declining effective reproduction number to quantify lessons against COVID-19[J]. Front. Med., 03 June 2020. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s11684-020-0788-3.
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Zhihang Peng
Wenyu Song
Zhongxing Ding
Quanquan Guan
Xu Yang
Qiaoqiao Xu
Xu Wang
Yankai Xia
Fig.1  Time series of the number of newly reported, newly suspected, and newly cured cases with the time points of implementation of enhanced containment and mitigation interventions.
Fig.2  Time series of the number of newly reported cases with the time points of implementation of enhanced containment and mitigation interventions in Italy (A), Iran (B), Japan (C), and South Korea (D).
Fig.3  Comparison of the trends of the effective reproduction number of COVID-19 among the five countries.
Countries Re
Day 1 Day 29
China 2.80 0.51
Italy 3.47 8.01
Iran 3.90 7.90
South Korea 3.20 6.40
Japan 2.97 3.91
Tab.1  Summary of the effective reproduction number (Re) in the five countries
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