Statistics and Its Interface

Volume 14 (2021)

Number 1

Discussion on “The timing and effectiveness of implementing mild interventions of COVID-19 in large industrial regions via a synthetic control method” by Tian et al.

Pages: 15 – 17



Kun Chen (Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Ct., U.S.A.)

Fei Wang (Department of Population Health Sciences, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.)


The ongoing pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted tens of millions of people and caused a huge economic loss. Most of the impacted countries have implemented different non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to control and prevent the spreading of SARS-Cov-2, which is the virus causing COVID-19. With the coming flu season in the northern hemisphere, many countries are preparing for the potential second or third wave of COVID-19. Therefore it is crucial to understand the differential timing and effectiveness of these NPIs. We congratulate the authors for a very stimulating paper on this timely and crucial topic. The paper tackles several important questions regarding the evaluation of the effects of mild intervention policies for reducing the transmission of SARSCov- 2, with available observational data amid the ongoing pandemic. The proposed approach combines a variety of statistical tools and practical wisdom in an intriguing manner. There’s no doubt about the importance and the potential impact of this paper. In the following, we would like to further discuss several related aspects.


heterogeneity, synthetic control

Received 29 September 2020

Accepted 17 October 2020

Published 18 December 2020