Derek Orr will present the following paper, click here to view.
The presence of a large number of infected individuals with few or no symptoms is an important epidemiological difficulty and the main mathematical feature of COVID-19. The A-SIR model, i.e. a SIR (Susceptible–Infected–Removed) model with a compartment for infected individuals with no symptoms or few symptoms was proposed by Gaeta (2020). In this paper we investigate a slightly generalized version of the same model and propose a scheme for fitting the parameters of the model tobreal data using the time series only of the deceased individuals. The scheme is applied to the concrete cases of Lombardy, Italy and São Paulo state, Brazil, showing different aspects of the epidemic. In both cases we see strong evidence that the adoption of social distancing measures contributed to a slower increase in the number of deceased individuals when compared to the baseline of no reduction in the infection rate. Both for Lombardy and São Paulo we show that we may have good fits to the data up to the present, but with very large differences in the future behavior. The reasons behind such disparate outcomes are the uncertainty on the value of a key parameter, the probability that an infected individual is fully symptomatic, and on the intensity of the social distancing measures adopted. This conclusion enforces the necessity of trying to determine the real number of infected individuals in a population, symptomatic or asymptomatic.