Effect Estimates of COVID-19 Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions are Non-Robust and Highly Model-Dependent release_tqnlop77czc2fi6edwbyx7qr4u

by Vincent Chin, John Ioannidis, Martin A. Tanner, Sally Cripps

Published in Journal of Clinical Epidemiology by Elsevier BV.



To compare the inference regarding the effectiveness of the various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for COVID-19 obtained from different SIR models. We explored two models developed by Imperial College that considered only NPIs without accounting for mobility (model 1) or only mobility (model 2), and a model accounting for the combination of mobility and NPIs (model 3). Imperial College applied models 1 and 2 to 11 European countries and to the USA, respectively. We applied these models to 14 European countries (original 11 plus another 3), over two different time horizons. While model 1 found that lockdown was the most effective measure in the original 11 countries, model 2 showed that lockdown had little or no benefit as it was typically introduced at a point when the time-varying reproduction number was already very low. Model 3 found that the simple banning of public events was beneficial, while lockdown had no consistent impact. Based on Bayesian metrics, model 2 was better supported by the data than either model 1 or model 3 for both time horizons. Inferences on effects of NPIs are non-robust and highly sensitive to model specification. In the SIR modeling framework, the impacts of lockdown are uncertain and highly model dependent.
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Type  article-journal
Stage   published
Date   2021-03-26
Language   en ?
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ISSN-L:  0895-4356
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