HEALTHCARE IMPACT OF COVID-19 EPIDEMIC IN NIGERIA: A STOCHASTIC MATHEMATICAL MODEL

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ABSTRACT

COVID-19, since its discovery in 2019, has posed a major health problem in the world. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is transmitted via infected respiratory droplets and contaminated surfaces. There is an urgent need to understand the transmission characteristics of the virus in response to social interventions. This is important to evaluate the overall impact of such programs in the management of the disease. We seek to develop a mathematical model that characterizes the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. The model analyzes the impact of preventive practices on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by incorporating human behavior in modeling disease prevalence depending on contact rates for direct and indirect transmissions and infectious host shedding. The model is also applied to reported data from Wuhan and the state of Tennessee. Our results imply that applying strategically created awareness programs to a geological setting can eradicate COVID-19.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND

At present, the world faces a pandemic brought about by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a spike protein virus is the causative agent of the widespread coronavirus disease. It is known to belong to a broad family of viruses known as the coronaviruses. The first severe illness caused by a coronavirus is the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic which started in China. A second flare-up was the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which was discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia [1].The coronavirus disease 2019 was first declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concerns by the World Health Organization on January 30, 2020 [2] and finally a pandemic on March 11, 2020 [1] since the disease was determined to be a public health risk to all nations through the international spread of diseases. The disease is mostly transmitted through contact with infected respiratory droplets from coughs, sneezes and speech[3, 4]. Further research has shown that the disease could be transmitted via airborne transmission [5]. Contact with contaminated surfaces is also a known risk of infection. Some confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 known to appear after 2-14 days of exposure are coughs, fever, windedness, muscle pain, loss of smell, diarrhea sore throat, fatigue and running nose.

As at January 11, 2021 there were 680,908 new infected cases recorded worldwide with 222,921 cases in the USA, 4,255 cases in the state of Tennessee and 134 cases in China [6, 7]. A total of 11,416 deaths were recorded worldwide [6]. The American continent currently has over 40million confirmed cases with the USA leading all other countries in this region and the world with about 25million confirmed cases. While there seem to be a rapidly increasing number confirmed cases, there are also several intervention programs created to combat the current characteristics of the disease. These programs include the current vaccination programs which begun in the last quarter of 2020 [8] , use of disinfectants, social distancing, public health education, use of nose masks and other protective shields, isolation of infected/exposed persons, funding of COVID-19 projects etc. Awareness programs as defined in this project comprises all actions and measures aimed at the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. These range from individual behavioral change to organizational and worldwide interventions. Social distancing is one of the most utilized COVID-19 preventive strategies. It is observed by limiting face-to-face interactions by remaining in any event 6 feet from others and maintaining a strategic distance from swarmed places. This intervention has resulted in the lockdown of several countries and the closing of organizations such as schools, churches and businesses. Though these interventions appear to be drastic as they have negative impact on productivity, virtual alternatives for social gatherings, meet-ups and workplaces have been discovered.