Background: Cyprus addressed the first wave of SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) by implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The aims of this study were: a) to estimate epidemiological parameters of this wave including infection attack ratio, infection fatality ratio, and case ascertainment ratio, b) to assess the impact of public health interventions and examine what would have happened if those interventions had not been implemented. Methods: A dynamic, stochastic, individual-based Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model was developed to simulate COVID-19 transmission and progression in the population of the Republic of Cyprus. The model was fitted to the observed trends in COVID-19 deaths and intensive care unit (ICU) bed use. Results: By May 8th, 2020, the infection attack ratio was 0.31% (95% Credible Interval [CrI]: 0.15, 0.54%), the infection fatality ratio was 0.71% (95% CrI: 0.44, 1.61%), and the case ascertainment ratio was 33.2% (95% CrI: 19.7, 68.7%). If Cyprus had not implemented any public health measure, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed by April 14th. The interventions averted 715 (95% CrI: 339, 1235) deaths. If Cyprus had only increased ICU beds, without any social distancing measure, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed by April 19th. Conclusions: The decision of the Cypriot authorities to launch early NPIs limited the burden of the first wave of COVID-19. The findings of these analyses could help address the next waves of COVID-19 in Cyprus and other similar settings.
- Health policy
- Mathematical modelling
- Public health
- Social distancing measures efficacy