Chaos Solitons Fractals 141 (-) 110295 [2020-12-00; online 2020-09-24]
We propose a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) modified model for Coronavirus disease - 2019 (COVID-19) spread to estimate the efficacy of lockdown measures introduced during the pandemic. As input data, we used COVID-19 epidemiological information collected in fifteen European countries either in private surveys or using official statistics. Thirteen countries implemented lockdown measures, two countries (Sweden, Iceland) not. As output parameters, we studied herd immunity level and time of formation. Comparison of these parameters was used as an indicator of effectiveness / ineffectiveness of lockdown measures. In the absence of a medical vaccine, herd immunity may be regarded as a factor of population adaptation to severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2, the viral pathogen causing COVID-19 disease (SARS-CoV-2), and hence COVID-19 spreading stop. We demonstrated that there is no significant difference between lockdown and no-lockdown modes of COVID-19 containment, in terms of both herd immunity level and the time of achieving its maximum. The rationale for personal and business lockdowns may be found in the avoidance of healthcare system overburdening. However, lockdowns do not prevent any virus with droplet transmission (including SARS-CoV-2) from spreading. Therefore, in case of a future viral pathogen emergence, lockdown measures efficiency should not be overestimated, as it was done almost universally in the world during COVID-19 pandemic.