Compact Multi-Scale Models of COVID-19: Critical Metrics for Decision Makers

Nashon J. Adero
13 min readJul 25, 2020

Visualising the cross-country trends of a global crisis and lessons for Kenya on reopening and reclosure

The Big Question

To what extent have the COVID-19 containment strategies adopted in different countries been successful? Which country can claim long-term success worth emulating yet? No! It must be still too early for a novel virus sending scientists to their studious research corners.

Then, what lessons can Africa draw from the global COVID-19 developments? As a key reference point in East Africa, should Kenya be open to alternative views or just read the signs from other countries and resort to tougher lockdown measures since the easing of restrictions on July 6, 2020, subsequently saw a substantial surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases?

This special edition consolidates the key lessons from the previously shared IBD models of COVID-19 and generates a compact bandwidth of projected scenarios of growth in COVID-19 cases at various scales: globally, in Africa, and nationally in Kenya and several top countries in the COVID-19 list such as the USA, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, and Chile. The objective is to contribute to the generative dialogue needed to inform long-term policy, planning, and monitoring of the pandemic and its impacts on economies.

The Reopening Dilemma

Read et al. (2020) used a transmission model at the time the novel coronavirus began spreading fast in China to estimate a basic reproductive number, R0, of 3.11. This factor ranks COVID-19 as a highly infectious disease. They further estimated that 58–76% of transmissions must be prevented to stop the surge.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had by July 2020 published several situation reports confirming that community transmission had been the established mode of spread of the novel coronavirus, even across the latecomer in COVID-19 cases which was the African continent. Testing capacity, case fatality rates, and recovery rates constitute the triangle of parameters used to rate the relative performance of countries in the fight against the pandemic. Technologically leveraged location-based contact tracing generates the actionable spatial intelligence required to contain the spread COVID-19.

Probing questions querying if country reopening schedules have been hurried are gaining currency and…

Nashon J. Adero

A geospatial and systems modelling expert, lecturer, youth mentor and trained policy analyst, who applies system dynamics to model complex adaptive systems.