By the end of February 2021, COVID-19 had spread to over 230 countries, with more than 100 million confirmed cases and 2.5 million deaths. To control infection spread with the least disruption to economic and societal activities, it is crucial to implement the various interventions effectively. In this study, we developed an agent-based SEIR model, using real demographic and geographic data from Hong Kong, to analyse the efficiency of various intervention strategies in preventing infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Close contact route including short-range airborne is considered as the main transmission routes for COVID-19 spread. Contact tracing is not that useful if all other interventions have been fully deployed. The number of infected individuals could be halved if people reduced their close contact rate by 25%. For reducing transmission, students should be prioritized for vaccination rather than retired older people and preschool aged children. Home isolation, and taking the nucleic acid test (NAT) as soon as possible after symptom onset, are much more effective interventions than wearing masks in public places. Temperature screening in public places only disrupted the infection spread by a small amount when other interventions have been fully implemented. Our results may be useful for other highly populated cities, when choosing their intervention strategies to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 and similar diseases.Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
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Pak-To Jack Chan