Abstract for: Which matters more in fighting COVID-19—government policy or community participation?

As a heavily populated megacity, Shanghai faces major epidemic risks. However, Shanghai’s control of COVID-19 has been successful owing to both government policy and community participation. We extended the classic SEIR model to incorporate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in various scenarios reflecting the lockdown policy implemented in Shanghai and the community participation happened, with residents’ cooperation and enhanced community fever clinics for the early identification of infected individuals, which cut infection chain. The simulation results showed that without lockdown policy, the new confirmed cases would gradually increase to more than 7,000 [292/1,000,000]. However, with currently implemented lockdown policy but without community participation, the new confirmed sharply decreased to 30 [1.2/1,000,000] during the first several months, but when lockdown policy was gradually lifted, the new confirmed cases increased exponentially, reaching more than 17,000 [708/1,000,000]. Therefore, government lockdown policy was necessary for the rapid control of COVID-19 during the outbreak stage while community participation played a particularly important role in keeping the number of new confirmed cases low when resuming normal life.