Re-Thinking the Role of Government Information Intervention in the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Agent-Based Modeling Analysis

The COVID-19 pandemic imposes new challenges on the capability of governments in intervening witn dissemination n dissemination and reducing the risk of infection outbreak. To reveal the complexity behind government intervention decision, we build a bi-layer network diffusion model for the information-disease dynamics that were intervened in and conduct a full space simulation to illustrate the trade-off faced by governments between information disclosing and blocking. The simulation results show that governments prioritize the accuracy of disclosed information over the disclosing speed when there is a high-level medical recognition of the virus and a high public health awareness, while, for the opposite situation, more strict information blocking is preferred. Furthermore, an unaccountable government tends to delay disclosing, a risk-averse government prefers a total blocking, and a low government credibility will discount the effect of information disclosing and aggravate the situation. These findings suggest that information intervention is indispensable for containing the outbreak of infectious disease, but its effectiveness depends on a complicated way on both external social/epidemic factors and the governments’ internal preferences and governance capability, for which more thorough investigations are needed in the future..

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Electronic Article

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Contained In:

To Main Record - volume:18

Contained In:

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - 18(2021), 147, p 147




Yao Lu [Author]
Zheng Ji [Author]
Xiaoqi Zhang [Author]
Yanqiao Zheng [Author]
Han Liang [Author]

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Information blocking
Information disclosing
Information intervention
Social network



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