What interventions could be successful in limiting the COVID-19 outbreak (in Singapore)?

Bottom Line

Quarantine, school closure, and workplace distancing together were predicted to be highly effective in reducing infections. 


Koo, J.R. et al. Interventions to mitigate early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore: a modelling study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases (2020).  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30162-6

Date Published:

23 March 2020


In this study, the authors used temporal and spatial modeling to assess the effect of four intervention scenarios on the size and progression of the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. These scenarios included isolation measures for infected individuals and quarantining of family members, quarantine plus school closure, quarantine plus workplace distancing, and quarantine plus school closure and workplace distancing. They compared these interventions with the effect of implementing no interventions and assumed that 7.5% of infections were asymptomatic. They built models based on three different basic reproduction numbers – numbers of individuals infected by one infected person. They found that implementing quarantine, school closure, and workplace distancing together was the most effective in reducing the number of infections in a span of 80 days (99.3-78.2% decrease, depending on the basic reproduction number).

Summary by: Ghazal Haddad