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Sunhwa Choi 2 Articles
Estimating the reproductive number and the outbreak size of COVID-19 in Korea
Sunhwa Choi, Moran Ki
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020011.   Published online March 12, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020011
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Since the first novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient in Korea was diagnosed on January 20, 2020, 30 patients were diagnosed until February 17, 2020. However, 5,298 additional patients were confirmed until March 4, 2020. Therefore, our objective was to estimate the reproduction number (R) and evaluate the effectiveness of preventive measures.
METHODS
A COVID-19 transmission model (SEIHR) was established to suit the Korean outbreak. The number of daily confirmed cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province (NGP), the main area of outbreak, was used. The first patient’ symptom onset date in the Daegu/NGP outbreak was assumed as January 22, 2020. The R according to the start date of the effect of preventive measures was estimated.
RESULTS
The estimated R in Hubei Province, China, was 4.0281, whereas the estimated initial R in Korea was 0.555, but later in Daegu/NGP, the value was between 3.472 and 3.543. When the transmission period decreases from 4-day to 2-day, the outbreak ends early, but the peak of the epidemic increases, and the total number of patients does not change greatly. It was found that, if transmission rate decreases, the outbreak ends early, and the size of the peak and the total number of patients also decreases.
CONCLUSIONS
To end the COVID-19 epidemic, efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and wearing masks, are absolutely crucial with the participation of the public, along with the policy of reducing the transmission period by finding and isolating patients as quickly as possible through the efforts of the quarantine authorities.
Summary
Korean summary
수학적 모델링을 통하여 코로나-19 감염재생산수( R )와 대구, 경북의 유행 규모와 유행 종료 시점 등을 예측해보았다. 그 결과 중국 후베이성의 R=4, 한국 초기 30일간의 유행은 R=0.5, 대구/경북의 3월 4일까지의 유행은 R=3.5 수준으로 나타났다. 하지만 방역당국의 적극적인 코로나-19검사로 환자들의 감염전파기간이 짧아지고, 국민들의 마스크 쓰기, 사회적 거리두기 등의 감염 예방조치 적극 참여로 전파율이 낮아져 5월 1일경에 하루 환자 1명 수준으로 예측되었다.
Key Message

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Analyzing the effects of social distancing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea using mathematical modeling
Sunhwa Choi, Moran Ki
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020064.   Published online September 7, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020064
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
During the 6 months since the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patient was diagnosed in Korea on January 20, 2020, various prevention and control measures have been implemented according to the COVID-19 epidemic pattern. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the reproductive numbers (R) for each epidemic stage to analyze the effects of the preventive measures and to predict the COVID-19 transmission trends.
METHODS
We estimated the transmission rates for each epidemic stage by fitting a COVID-19 transmission model, based on a deterministic mathematical model, to the data on confirmed cases. The effects of preventive measures such as social distancing by time period were analyzed, and the size and trends of future COVID-19 outbreaks were estimated.
RESULTS
The value of R was 3.53 from February18, 2020 to February 28, 2020, and the mean R reduced to 0.45 from March 14, 2020 to April 29, 2020, but it significantly increased to 2.69 from April 30, 2020 to May13, 2020 and it was maintained at 1.03 from May 14, 2020 to July 23, 2020.
CONCLUSIONS
According to the estimated R, it had fallen to below 1 and was maintained at that level owing to the isolation of infected persons by the public health authorities and social distancing measures followed by the general public. Then, the estimated R increased rapidly as the contact among individuals increased during the long holiday period from April 30, 2020 to May 5, 2020. Thereafter, the value of R dropped, with the continued use of preventive measures but remained higher than 1.00, indicating that the COVID-19 outbreak can be prolonged and develop into a severe outbreak at any time.
Summary
Korean summary
수학적 모델링을 통하여 코로나-19 유행양상에 따른 시기별 감염재생산수(reproductive number)를 추정하고, 시기별 방역정책의 효과를 분석하여 향후 유행의 규모와 유행 종료 시점 등을 예측하였다. 그 결과, 4월30일부터 5월5일까지의 긴 연휴 기간을 통해 사람들 간의 접촉이 증가하면서 감염재생산수가 급격히 증가하였고(4월 30일 - 5월 13일까지 평균 R=2.69), 그 후, 지속적인 방역조치로 인해 5월 14일-7월 23일까지 평균 R=1.03로 감소하였으나, 여전히 1보다 큰 값으로 나타나, 코로나-19유행이 지속되고 있으며 언제라도 다시 큰 유행으로 커질 수 있다고 예측되었다.
Key Message

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