BACKGROUND: The ongoing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged and caused multiple pandemic waves in the following six countries: India, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Some of the countries have been much less studied in this devastating pandemic. This study aims to assess the impact of the Omicron variant in these six countries and estimate the infection fatality rate (IFR) and the reproduction number [Formula: see text] in these six South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania countries.
METHODS: We propose a Susceptible-Vaccinated-Exposed-Infectious-Hospitalized-Death-Recovered model with a time-varying transmission rate [Formula: see text] to fit the multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and to estimate the IFR and [Formula: see text] in the aforementioned six countries. The level of immune evasion and the intrinsic transmissibility advantage of the Omicron variant are also considered in this model.
RESULTS: We fit our model to the reported deaths well. We estimate the IFR (in the range of 0.016 to 0.136%) and the reproduction number [Formula: see text] (in the range of 0 to 9) in the six countries. Multiple pandemic waves in each country were observed in our simulation results.
CONCLUSIONS: The invasion of the Omicron variant caused the new pandemic waves in the six countries. The higher [Formula: see text] suggests the intrinsic transmissibility advantage of the Omicron variant. Our model simulation forecast implies that the Omicron pandemic wave may be mitigated due to the increasing immunized population and vaccine coverage.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.