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COVID-19 remains a significant public health problem in New South Wales, Australia. Although the NSW government is employing various control policies, more specific and compelling interventions are needed to control the spread of COVID-19. This paper presents a modified SEIR-X model based on a nonlinear ordinary differential equations system that considers the transmission routes from asymptomatic (Exposed) and symptomatic (Mild and Critical) individuals. The model is fitted to the corresponding cumulative number of cases in metropolitan and rural health districts of NSW reported by the Health Department and parameterised using the least-squares method. The basic reproduction number (R) , which measures the possible spread of COVID-19 in a population, is computed using the next generation operator method. Sensitivity analysis of the model parameters reveals that the transmission rate had an enormous influence on R , which may be an option for controlling this disease. Two time-dependent control strategies, namely preventive (it refers to effort at inhibiting the virus transmission and prevention of case development from Exposed, Mild, Critical, Non-hospitalised and Hospitalised population) and management (it refers to enhance the management of Non-hospitalised and Hospitalised individuals who are infected by COVID-19) measures, are considered to mitigate this disease’s dynamics using Pontryagin’s maximum principle. The most sensible control strategy is determined through the cost-effectiveness analysis for the metropolitan and rural health districts of NSW. Our findings suggest that of the single intervention strategies, enhanced preventive strategy is more cost-effective than management control strategy, as it promptly reduces COVID-19 cases in NSW. In addition, combining preventive and management interventions simultaneously is found to be the most cost-effective. Alternative policies can be implemented to control COVID-19 depending on the policymakers’ decisions. Numerical simulations of the overall system are performed to demonstrate the theoretical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10352
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023


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