Transmission dynamics and control of covid-19 in chile, march-october, 2020

Amna Tariq, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Carla Castillo Laborde, Katia Vogt-Geisse, Ruiyan Luo, Richard Rothenberg, Gerardo Chowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Since the detection of the first case of COVID-19 in Chile on March 3rd, 2020, a total of 513,188 cases, including ~14,302 deaths have been reported in Chile as of November 2nd, 2020. Here, we estimate the reproduction number throughout the epidemic in Chile and study the effectiveness of control interventions especially the effectiveness of lockdowns by conducting short-term forecasts based on the early transmission dynamics of COVID-19. Chile’s incidence curve displays early sub-exponential growth dynamics with the decelera-tion of growth parameter, p, estimated at 0.8 (95% CI: 0.7, 0.8) and the reproduction num-ber, R, estimated at 1.8 (95% CI: 1.6, 1.9). Our findings indicate that the control measures at the start of the epidemic significantly slowed down the spread of the virus. However, the relaxation of restrictions and spread of the virus in low-income neighborhoods in May led to a new surge of infections, followed by the reimposition of lockdowns in Greater Santiago and other municipalities. These measures have decelerated the virus spread with R estimated at ~0.96 (95% CI: 0.95, 0.98) as of November 2nd, 2020. The early sub-exponential growth trend (p ~0.8) of the COVID-19 epidemic transformed into a linear growth trend (p ~0.5) as of July 7th, 2020, after the reimposition of lockdowns. While the broad scale social distancing interventions have slowed the virus spread, the number of new COVID-19 cases continue to accrue, underscoring the need for persistent social distancing and active case detection and isolation efforts to maintain the epidemic under control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009070
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Transmission dynamics and control of covid-19 in chile, march-october, 2020'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this