For Lockdown Policies, New Method For Modelling Covid Spread Developed.

For Lockdown Policies, New Method For Modelling Covid Spread Developed

The new model will use real-time data based on people's movements. (Representational)

London:

A new strategy by Warwick University for modelling the spread of COVID-19 incorporates smartphone-captured data on people's movements and shows promise for aiding the development of optimal lockdown policies.

Ritabrata Dutta of Warwick University, UK, and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Evidence shows that lockdowns are effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. However, they do come at a high economic cost, and in practice, not everybody follows government guidance on lockdowns.

Thus, Ritabrata Dutta and colleagues propose, an optimal lockdown strategy would balance between controlling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the economic costs of lockdowns.

To help guide such a strategy, the researchers developed new mathematical models that simulate the spread of COVID-19.

The models focus on England and France and- using a statistical approach known as approximate Bayesian computation- they incorporate both public health data and data on changes in people's movements, as captured by Google via Android devices; this mobility data serves as a measure of the effectiveness of lockdown policies.

Then, the researchers demonstrated how their models could be applied to design optimal lockdown strategies for England and France using a mathematical technique called optimal control.

They showed that it is possible to design effective lockdown protocols that allow the partial reopening of workplaces and schools while taking into account both public health costs and economic costs. The models can be updated in real-time, and they can be adapted to any country for which reliable public health and Google mobility data are available.

"Our work opens the door to a larger integration between epidemiological models and real-world data to, through the use of supercomputers, determine best public policies to mitigate the effects of a pandemic," Ritabrata Dutta said.

Ritabrata Dutta added, "In a not-so-distant future, policymakers may be able to express certain prioritization criteria, and a computational engine, with an extensive use of different datasets, could determine the best course of action."

Next, the researchers plan to refine their country-wide models to work at smaller scales; specifically, each of the 348 local district authorities of the UK.

The researchers added, "The integration of big data, epidemiological models and supercomputers can help us design an optimal lockdown strategy in real-time while balancing both public health and economic costs."

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
The Press Preview: With Steve Richards and Lucy Fisher.

The Press Preview: With Steve Richards and Lucy Fisher.

Gillian Joseph takes a first look at the morning’s front pages with the columnist and broadcaster Steve Richards and The Telegraph's Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like ...

Gabby Petito’s Step-Father Honors Daughter At Memorial: ‘She Genuinely Loved People’.

Gabby Petito’s Step-Father Honors Daughter At Memorial: ‘She Genuinely Loved People’.

Long lines formed outside the Moloney Funeral Home as the public came to pay respects to Gabby Petito. The 22-year-old’s step-father asked the public to be inspired by how his step-daughter treated others. More than 100 firefighters were in attend...

Taiwan Receives 160,000 Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from Slovakia.

Taiwan Receives 160,000 Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from Slovakia.

A plane carrying 160,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Slovakia arrived at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan on Sunday, September 26. ––––––––– READ MORE: The shipment was donated by the Slovakian government as a gesture of ...

More Than 12,000 Migrants Remain In The U.S.

More Than 12,000 Migrants Remain In The U.S.

The makeshift migrant camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas is no more. More than 12,000 migrants, mostly Haitian, remain in the U.S. seeking asylum.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative an...

Pfizer Booster Vaccines Rolled Out in U.S.

Pfizer Booster Vaccines Rolled Out in U.S.

People across the country got their Pfizer booster shots this weekend. Doctors in the U.S. say there’s not enough data to support mixing vaccines. Health officials encourage booster shots for those eligible.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NB...

New York School Vaccine Mandate Temporarily Blocked.

New York School Vaccine Mandate Temporarily Blocked.

Hours before a vaccine mandate was set to go into effect for teachers in New York, a federal judge temporarily blocked its enforcement. Nearly 150,000 school employees would have needed their first vaccination dose by Monday.» Subscribe to NBC New...