Modelling COVID-19 transmission in the United States through interstate and foreign travels and evaluating impact of governmental public health interventions

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications




Covid-19, Public health, Transmission, Travel


Background: The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease has spread to 210 countries and has been labelled as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Modelling, evaluating, and predicting the rate of disease transmission is crucial in understanding optimal methods for prevention and control. Our aim is to assess the impact of interstate and foreign travel and public health interventions implemented by the United States government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A disjoint mutually exclusive compartmental model was developed to study transmission dynamics of the novel coronavirus. A system of nonlinear differential equations was formulated and the basic reproduction number R0 was computed. Stability of the model was evaluated at the equilibrium points. Optimal controls were applied in the form of travel restrictions and quarantine. Numerical simulations were conducted. Results: Analysis shows that the model is locally asymptomatically stable, at endemic and foreigners free equilibrium points. Without any mitigation measures, infectivity and subsequent hospitalization of the population increased. When interstate and foreign travel was restricted and the population placed under quarantine, the probability of exposure and subsequent infection decreased significantly; furthermore, the recovery rate increased substantially. Conclusion: Interstate and foreign travel restrictions, in addition to quarantine, are necessary in effectively controlling the pandemic. The United States has controlled COVID-19 spread by implementing quarantine and restricting foreign travel. The government can further strengthen restrictions and reduce spread within the nation more effectively by implementing restrictions on interstate travel.

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