Modelling Covid-19 mitigation and control strategies in the presence of migration and vaccination: the case of South Africa

S. M. Kassa, J. B.H. Njagarah, Y. A. Terefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The novel coronavirus disease has ravaged many health systems around the world and has brought many economies to their knees. In the absence of an approved curing medicine or approved vaccine to date, the major control of the surge of infections is through use of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) and imposing specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) in instances when the disease spread curbs are relaxed. It is thus essential to quantify the extent to which specific NPIs can be useful in containing the pandemic. To achieve this, we constructed a mathematical model that accounts for both person to person transmission as well as transmission through contact from pathogen-contaminated surfaces. The model assumes that there is change of behaviour resulting from the surge of the number of cases, hence a class of susceptible individuals who practise self-protection measures. Basic properties of the model including the conditions for existence and stability of steady states are explored. The model was fitted to new-cases data for South Africa and baseline parameter values were estimated. Sensitivity analysis of the model was performed to determine the most influential parameters on the disease threshold. Our results show that practising of self-protection measures is vital in slowing the spread of the infection. In addition, it is evident from the results that minimizing contact through “physical distancing” as well as with contaminated surfaces can significantly help in containing the infection. The model was extended to account for testing and quarantining of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals. In addition, migration and potential use of a vaccine were explored. In the case of migration, the scenarios considered included aspects when there are both border control and illegal crossings as well as the case where the government is in full control with proper SOPs. Our results show that, although testing and isolating/quarantining of infected individuals is essential in curbing new infections, it ought to be done in conjunction with implementation of other control measures if the disease is to be curtailed in a shorter period of time. More still, when an effective vaccine is available, even a 98 % coverage in one community may not be enough to completely stop new infections in the presence of migration. We therefore recommend that vaccination ought to be done universally if the daily number of new infections is to be reduced to zero.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295–1322
Number of pages28
JournalAfrika Matematika
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - May 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics


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