COVID-19 and Optimal Lockdown Strategies: The Effect of New and More Virulent Strains

Caulkins, J.P., Grass, D., Feichtinger, G., Hartl, R.F., Kort, P.M., Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, A., Seidl, A., & Wrzaczek, S. (2022). COVID-19 and Optimal Lockdown Strategies: The Effect of New and More Virulent Strains. In: Pandemics: Insurance and Social Protection. Eds. Boado-Penas, M.C., Eisenberg, J. & Şahin‬‬‬, Ş., pp. 163-190 Springer, Cham. ISBN 978-3-030-78334-1 10.1007/978-3-030-78334-1_9.

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Abstract

Most nations have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by locking down parts of their economies starting in early 2020 to reduce the infectious spread. The optimal timing of the beginning and end of the lockdown, together with its intensity, is determined by the tradeoff between economic losses and improved health outcomes. These choices can be modelled within the framework of an optimal control model that recognises the nonlinear dynamics of epidemic spread and the increased risks when infection rates surge beyond the healthcare system’s capacity. Past work has shown that within such a framework very different strategies may be optimal ranging from short to long and even multiple lockdowns, and small changes in the valuation on preventing a premature death may lead to quite different strategies becoming optimal. There even exist parameter constellations for which two or more very different strategies can be optimal. Here we revisit those crucial questions with revised parameters reflecting the greater infectivity of variants such as the “UK variant” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and describe how the new variant may affect levels of mortality and other outcomes.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems (EM)
Economic Frontiers (EF)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing (SHAW)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2021 08:33
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2021 10:36
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17612

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