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Abstract

The pressing need to restart socioeconomic activities locked-down to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Italy must be coupled with effective methodologies to selectively relax containment measures. Here we employ a spatially explicit model, properly attentive to the role of inapparent infections, capable of: estimating the expected unfolding of the outbreak under continuous lockdown (baseline trajectory); assessing deviations from the baseline, should lockdown relaxations result in increased disease transmission; calculating the isolation effort required to prevent a resurgence of the outbreak. A 40% increase in effective transmission would yield a rebound of infections. A control effort capable of isolating daily similar to 5.5% of the exposed and highly infectious individuals proves necessary to maintain the epidemic curve onto the decreasing baseline trajectory. We finally provide an ex-post assessment based on the epidemiological data that became available after the initial analysis and estimate the actual disease transmission that occurred after weakening the lockdown.

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