Non-pharmaceutical measures in viral epidemics and COVID-19: How to predict the outcome

The structure of non-pharmaceutical measurs (lockdowns, quarantines, etc) imposed to control the spreading of a viral epidemic is, on the one hand, dictated by the nature of the infection and, on the other, limited by the necessity to keep the economy and hence the society functioning. This makes it necessary to develop predictive models describing how the epidemic evolves, accounting fot work-related and other activities of the population. A model unifying the compartmental and stochastic approaches to the modelling of viral epidemics has been developed and applied to COVID-19 in the UK as an illustrative example.