Interplay of social distancing and border restrictions for pandemics via the epidemic renormalisation group framework

Giacomo Cacciapaglia*, Francesco Sannino


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One of the biggest threats to humanity are pandemics. In our global society they can rage around the world with an immense toll in terms of human, economic and social impact. Forecasting the spreading of a pandemic is, therefore, paramount in helping governments to enforce a number of social and economic measures, apt at curbing the pandemic and dealing with its aftermath. We demonstrate that the epidemic renormalisation group approach to pandemics provides an effective and simple way to investigate the dynamics of disease transmission and spreading across different regions of the world. The framework also allows for reliable projections on the impact of travel limitations and social distancing measures on global epidemic spread. We test and calibrate it on reported COVID-19 cases while unveiling the mechanism that governs the delay in the relative peaks of newly infected cases among different regions of the globe. We discover that social distancing measures are more effective than travel limitations across borders in delaying the epidemic peak. We further provide the link to compartmental models such as the time-honoured SIR-like models. We also show how to generalise the framework to account for the interactions across several regions of the world, replacing or complementing large scale simulations.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020