A mathematical model to guide the re-opening of economies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Despite rigorous global containment and quarantine efforts, the incidence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as COVID-19, continues to surge, with more than 12 million laboratory-confirmed cases and over 500,000 deaths worldwide (as of 11 July 2020). Aside from the continued surge in cases and the imperatives of public health concern and saving lives, economic devastation is also mounting with a global depression now seeming inevitable. There is limited attention directed towards people who have recovered from the virus and whether this metric can be useful in guiding when the economy can be re-opened. In this paper, a simpler model is presented in order to guide various countries on the (possible) re-opening of the economy (or re-opening in stages/phases) alongside risk categories and ratios. Factors that need to be considered when applying the model include the healthcare capacity in terms of the number of hospitals, beds and healthcare workers that are available to capacitate this virus. In addition, population size, physical distancing measures, socio-economic disparities, lockdown regulations in each country, and more importantly - the amount and accuracy of testing conducted, is also imperative to consider. Decisions adopted by leaders around the world have the most difficult decision to make (yet), and have to weigh up on what really matters; health or wealth. It is suggested that this model be applied in a number of states/counties and countries in order to gauge the risk of their location being re-opened, by observing their total number of recoveries in proximity to total number of cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-6
Number of pages2
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Coronavirus
  • Economy
  • Health
  • Lockdown
  • Model
  • Norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'A mathematical model to guide the re-opening of economies during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this