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Modelling the COVID-19 Transmission for Malaysia
Friday 29 May 2020, 08:00am
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Early this year starts the global journey in battling to control the spread of COVID-19. As of 27 May 2020, the total infected cases is way surpassed 5 million people and have caused 348,610 (6.27%) deaths. Malaysia reported 7,604 total cases of COVID-19, potentially becoming the deadliest epidemic in Malaysia history.

Many countries have relied on mathematical models in assisting the forecast of the progression of the disease. The Malaysia Ministry of Health have also consulted a group of disease modelers for decision making. One of the models referred was developed at the faculty. The model is an extended Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model which includes additional compartments namely the Traced, Isolation and Quarantine compartments (STEQIR). Such model compartmentalized the total population in Malaysia. In order to assist policymakers in making decision, the modelers will refer to the force of infection parameter in the model. Based on the STEQIR model, the force of infection consists of the product of two parameters which correspond to the average number of contacts per day per case and the proportion of exposed person who performed effective precaution. These parameters correspond to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) enforced during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Having the freedom to adjust these two parameters will reveal the prediction of the disease spread and thus assist in the decision whether to extend the MCO or not.


Based on the simulations, it is found that at least 80% of the exposed population must make sure that they follow the SOP and perform self-precaution effectively. In view of the fact that there are asymptomatic cases then it is difficult to know exactly who are exposed. This means, in order to reach this proportion then we must assume that everyone who leave their home to work or some other allowed activities are the exposed group. This indicates that they must follow the SOP (3C3W) effectively.