While most of the countries around the globe are combating the pandemic of COVID-19, the level of its impact is quite variable among different countries . In particular, the data from Nepal, a developing country having an open border provision with highly COVID-19 affected country India, has shown a biphasic pattern of epidemic, a controlled phase (until July 21 , 2020) followed by an outgrown phase (after July 21 , 2020). To uncover the effective strategies implemented during the controlled phase, we develop a mathematical model that is able to describe the data from both phases of COVID-19 dynamics in Nepal . Using our best parameter estimates with 95% confidence interval, we found that during the controlled phase most of the recorded cases were imported from outside the country with a small number generated from the local transmission, consistent with the data . Our model predicts that these successful strategies were able to maintain the reproduction number at around 0.21 during the controlled phase, preventing 442,640 cases of COVID-19 and saving more than 1,200 lives in Nepal . However, during the outgrown phase, when the strategies such as border screening and quarantine, lockdown, and detection and isolation, were altered, the reproduction number raised to 1.8, resulting in exponentially growing cases of COVID-19 . We further used our model to predict the long-term dynamics of COVID-19 in Nepal and found that without any interventions the current trend may result in about 18.76 million cases (10.70 million detected and 8.06 million undetected) and 89 thousand deaths in Nepal by the end of 2021 . Finally, using our predictive model, we evaluated the effects of various control strategies on the long-term outcome of this epidemics and identified ideal strategies to curb the epidemic in Nepal.
Index: Biphasic Epidemic, COVID-19, Mathematical Model, Nepal, Open border