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A Binomial Model Approach: Comparing the R0 Values of SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR Data from Laboratories across Northern Cyprus

Nazife Sultanoglu1,2,*, Nezihal Gokbulut3, Tamer Sanlidag2, Evren Hincal2,3, Bilgen Kaymakamzade2,3, Murat Sayan2,4

1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Near East University, Nicosia, 99138, Cyprus
2 DESAM Research Institute, Near East University, Nicosia, 99138, Cyprus
3 Department of Mathematics, Near East University, Nicosia, 99138, Cyprus
4 Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Clinical Laboratory, PCR Unit, Kocaeli, 41001, Turkey

* Corresponding Author: Nazife Sultanoglu. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Mathematical Aspects of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2021, 128(2), 717-729.


Northern Cyprus has implemented relatively strict measures in the battle against the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The measures were introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. One of these measures was the use of two separate real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) tests for SARS-CoV-2 referred to as the double screening procedure, which was adopted following the re-opening of the sea, air and land borders for passengers after the first lockdown. The rRT-PCR double screening procedure involved reporting a negative rRT-PCR test which was carried in 72 to 120 h before departure whilst presenting no known symptoms of the COVID-19 and performing a second rRT-PCR test at the point of arrival. This study compares the results of SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR tests performed on incoming flight passengers from the 1 July to 9 of September 2020 to Northern Cyprus. The rRT-PCR test results collected by the Near East University (NEU) DESAM COVID-19 laboratory were compared with the rRT-PCR test results collected by the Ministry of Health and/or private COVID-19 laboratories in Northern Cyprus. This comparative study was conducted using binomial distribution. In addition, by applying the Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Removed (SEIR) model to Northern Cyprus, overall basic reproduction number value of the COVID-19 was analysed for the same time period to act as a threshold for this comparison. In both the statistical and SEIR mathematical model, was calculated. It was assumed that, the more similar the results of NEU DESAM COVID-19 laboratory and other laboratories were with the overall value of Northern Cyprus, the more reliable the results would be. We calculated that the median values of the NEU DESAM COVID-19 laboratory and other laboratories performing the SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR on air passengers during the studied period to be 0.96 and 1.29, respectively, compared to Northern Cyprus median value which was 0.99. The rRT-PCR screening results from the NEU DESAM COVID-19 laboratory were closely aligned with the screening results of Northern Cyprus whereas the screening results reported by other laboratories were not in a fit with the regional pattern. This study also aimed to point out the importance of the rRT-PCR screening procedure since asymptomatic positive SARS-CoV-2 cases entery to Northern Cyprus was inhibited and this prevented the spread of the disease within the population.


Cite This Article

Sultanoglu, N., Gokbulut, N., Sanlidag, T., Hincal, E., Kaymakamzade, B. et al. (2021). A Binomial Model Approach: Comparing the R0 Values of SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR Data from Laboratories across Northern Cyprus. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 128(2), 717–729.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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