A novel Monte Carlo simulation procedure for modelling COVID-19 spread over time

Gang Xie

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Received date: 21st April 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now spread throughout most countries in the world causing heavy life losses and damaging social-economic impacts. Following a stochastic point process modelling approach, a Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to represent the COVID-19 spread dynamics. First, we examined various expected performances (theoretical properties) of the simulation model assuming a number of arbitrarily defined scenarios. Simulation studies were then performed on the real COVID-19 data reported (over the period of 1 March to 1 May) for Australia and United Kingdom (UK). Given the initial number of COVID-19 infection active cases were around 10 for both countries, the model estimated that the number of active cases would peak around 29 March in Australia (≈ 1700 cases) and around 22 April in UK (≈ 22860 cases); ultimately the total confirmed cases could sum to 6790 for Australia in about 75 days and 206480 for UK in about 105 days. The results of the estimated COVID-19 reproduction numbers were consistent with what was reported in the literature. This simulation model was considered an effective and adaptable decision making/what-if analysis tool in battling COVID-19 in the immediate need, and for modelling any other infectious diseases in the future.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature