"Optimal Strategies for Mitigating the COVID-19 Epidemic in the Philippines"
With one of the longest lockdowns in the world and over 50,000 cases and 1,600 deaths, the Philippines is one of the hardest hit countries of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Southeast Asian region as of July 2020. The country continues to realign its lockdown policies and increase its test-trace-and-treat capacity to control the epidemic while trying to ease the burden on the national economy. In this study, we identify the best strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for the regions with the highest cases in the Philippines by applying optimal control theory to a nonlinear dynamical model fitted to local epidemiological data. Furthermore, long-term viability of different levels of community quarantine, testing, and combinations of these two strategies to minimize the number of infectious individuals are examined through cost effectiveness analysis given the limited resources available to the country.
References: Philippine Department of Health - Epidemiology Bureau (2020), COVID-19 Tracker Philippines (accessed July 15, 2020). https://www.doh.gov.ph/covid19tracker L. S. Pontryagin, V. G. Boltyanskii, R. V. Gamkrelize, and E. F. Mishchenko,The Mathematical Theory of Optimal Processes, Wiley, 1962.