Modeling Social Distancing Strategies to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Israel: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Amir Shlomai, Ari Leshno, Ella H. Sklan, Moshe Leshno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: While highly effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread, national lockdowns come with an enormous economic price. Few countries have adopted an alternative “testing, tracing, and isolation” approach to selectively isolate people at high exposure risk, thereby minimizing the economic impact. To assist policy makers, we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of these 2 strategies. Methods: A modified Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered, and Deceased (SEIRD) model was employed to assess the situation in Israel, a small country with ∼9 million people. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of these strategies as well as the expected number of infected individuals and deaths were calculated. Results: A nationwide lockdown is expected to save, on average, 274 (median 124, interquartile range: 71-221) lives compared to the “testing, tracing, and isolation” approach. However, the ICER will be, on average, $45 104 156 (median $49.6 million, interquartile range: 22.7-220.1) to prevent 1 case of death. Conclusion: A national lockdown has a moderate advantage in saving lives with tremendous costs and possible overwhelming economic effects. These findings should assist decision makers dealing with additional waves of this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-614
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • SEIR model
  • cost-effectiveness

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