Mathematical Modelling Projections Versus the Actual Course of the COVID-19 Epidemic following the Nationwide Lockdown in Kyrgyzstan

Author(s): Ainura Moldokmatova, Aizhan Dooronbekova, Chynarkul Zhumalieva, Aida Estebesova, Aibek Mukambetov, Shamil Ibragimov, Ainura Kutmanova, Aisuluu Kubatova, Talant Abdyldaev, Nurbolot Usenbaev, Lisa J White

Kyrgyzstan was placed under a two-month, nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic, starting on March 25, 2020. Given the highly disruptive effects of the lockdown on the national economy and people’s lives, the government decided not to extend lockdown beyond the initially planned date of May 10, 2020. The strategy chosen by the government was close to the input parameters of our model’s baseline scenario, ‘full lockdown release’, which we presented to policymakers in April 2020, along with various other hypothetical scenarios with managed lockdown release options. To explore whether our model could accurately predict the actual course of the epidemic following the release of lockdown, we compared the outputs of the baseline scenario, such as new cases, deaths, and demand for and occupancy of hospital beds, with actual official reports. Our analysis revealed that the model could accurately predict the timing of the epidemic peak, with a difference of just two weeks, although the magnitude of the peak was overestimated compared with the official statistics. However, it is important to note that the accuracy of the official reports remains debatable, so outputs relating to the size of the epidemic and related pressures on the health system will need to be updated if new evidence becomes available.

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