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In Chaos (Woodbury, N.Y.)

The accumulation of susceptible populations for respiratory infectious diseases (RIDs) when COVID-19-targeted non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were in place might pose a greater risk of future RID outbreaks. We examined the timing and magnitude of RID resurgence after lifting COVID-19-targeted NPIs and assessed the burdens on the health system. We proposed the Threshold-based Control Method (TCM) to identify data-driven solutions to maintain the resilience of the health system by re-introducing NPIs when the number of severe infections reaches a threshold. There will be outbreaks of all RIDs with staggered peak times after lifting COVID-19-targeted NPIs. Such a large-scale resurgence of RID patients will impose a significant risk of overwhelming the health system. With a strict NPI strategy, a TCM-initiated threshold of 600 severe infections can ensure a sufficient supply of hospital beds for all hospitalized severely infected patients. The proposed TCM identifies effective dynamic NPIs, which facilitate future NPI relaxation policymaking.

Cheng Weibin, Zhou Hanchu, Ye Yang, Chen Yifan, Jing Fengshi, Cao Zhidong, Zeng Daniel Dajun, Zhang Qingpeng