Assessing the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 during the first five months in the Western Pacific Region

Yeoh, Eng Kiong and Chong, Ka Chun and Chiew, Calvin J. and Lee, Vernon J. and Ng, Chiu Wan and Hashimoto, Hideki and Kwon, Soonman and Wang, Weibing and Chau, Nancy Nam Sze and Yam, Carrie Ho Kwan and Chow, Tsz Yu and Hung, Chi Tim (2021) Assessing the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 during the first five months in the Western Pacific Region. One Health, 12. p. 100213. ISSN 2352-7714, DOI

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While most countries in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) had similar trajectories of COVID-19 from January to May, their implementations of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) differed by transmission stages. To offer a better understanding for an implementation of multidisciplinary policies in COVID-19 control, we compared the impact of NPIs by assessing the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19 in different phases of the epidemic during the first five months in WPR. In this study, we estimated the piecewise instantaneous reproduction number (Rt) and the reporting delay-adjusted case-fatality ratio (dCFR) of COVID-19 in seven WPR jurisdictions: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Japan, Malaysia, Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. According to the results, implementing NPIs was associated with an apparent reduction of the piecewise Rt in two epidemic waves in general. However, large cluster outbreaks raised the piecewise Rt to a high level. We also observed relaxing the NPIs could result in an increase of Rt. The estimated dCFR ranged from 0.09% to 1.59% among the jurisdictions, except in Japan where an estimate of 5.31% might be due to low testing efforts. To conclude, in conjunction with border control measures to reduce influx of imported cases which might cause local outbreaks, other NPIs including social distancing measures along with case finding by rapid tests are also necessary to prevent potential large cluster outbreaks and transmissions from undetected cases. A comparatively lower CFR may reflect the health system capacity of these jurisdictions. In order to keep track of sustained disease transmission due to resumption of economic activities, a close monitoring of disease transmissibility is recommended in the relaxation phase. The report of transmission of SARS CoV-2 to pets in Hong Kong and to mink in farm outbreaks highlight for the control of COVID-19 and emerging infectious disease, the One Health approach is critical in understanding and accounting for how human, animals and environment health are intricately connected. © 2021 The Author(s)

Item Type: Article
Funders: Health and Medical Research Fund by the Food and Health Bureau , The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [grant numbers COVID190105, INF-CUHK-1, 19181132]
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Case-fatality; Reproduction number; Western pacific; Non-pharmaceutical
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2021 00:26
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2021 00:26

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