An Agent Based Modeling of COVID-19: Validation, Analysis, and Recommendations

Abstract

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in an ongoing pandemic worldwide. Countries have adopted Non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) to slow down the spread. This study proposes an Agent Based Model that simulates the spread of COVID-19 among the inhabitants of a city. The Agent Based Model can be accommodated for any location by integrating parameters specific to the city. The simulation gives the number of daily confirmed cases. Considering each person as an agent susceptible to COVID-19, the model causes infected individuals to transmit the disease via various actions performed every hour. The model is validated by comparing the simulation to the real data of Ford county, Kansas, USA. Different interventions including contact tracing are applied on a scaled down version of New York city, USA and the parameters that lead to a controlled epidemic are determined. Our experiments suggest that contact tracing via smartphones with more than 60% of the population owning a smartphone combined with a city-wide lock-down results in the effective reproduction number (Rt) to fall below 1 within three weeks of intervention. In the case of 75% or more smartphone users, new infections are eliminated and the spread is contained within three months of intervention. Contact tracing accompanied with early lock-down can suppress the epidemic growth of COVID-19 completely with sufficient smartphone owners. In places where it is difficult to ensure a high percentage of smartphone ownership, tracing only emergency service providers during a lock-down can go a long way to contain the spread. No particular funding was available for this project.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Clinical Trial

N/A

Funding Statement

No Funding was available for this research.

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All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.

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