Math model may help map Covid-19 trajectory in India
India will soon have a so-called super (mathematical) model for Covid-19 that can shed light on the likely trajectory of the pandemic in India, including details of when and where it is most likely to spread; its crests and troughs; and the number of ICU beds and ventilators that may be needed.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has started work on a Covid-19 “Indian National Supermodel” to help monitor the future transmission of infection, thus aiding decisions involving the readiness of the health system and other mitigation measures, the ministry of science and technology said on Saturday. Numerous mathematical models for Covid-19 forecasting and surveillance are being worked out by investigators funded by DST-SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board) and other agencies.
Professor M Vidyasagar, fellow of SERB and national professor at IIT Hyderabad said “We have been asked to deliver on four things—fine grained spatio-temporal progression of Covid 19; medical inventory prediction which includes how many PPE (kits), how many ventilators, are needed ; policies like non pharmaceutical interventions and economic optimization such as working with a reduced workforce.”
The team is likely to present its initial findings based on the super model by end of June. Professor Vidyasagar said the team will be looking at models used in Europe, US and other countries and validate them .
“The model will entirely rely only on the data that is relevant to Covid 19, and also have an adaptive built-in component to learn from the newer trends in the data. It will aggregate successful evidence-based mathematical and statistical forecasting models and include the best predictive analytics for robust forecasting of infectious disease spread. The supermodel could be used by the policymakers in India and around the world to overcome difficulties in predicting the rate of spread of infection and how it would burden the healthcare sector, thereby curbing the epidemic,” the statement by ministry of science and technology said.
As part of this initiative, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore will co-ordinate to connect and work with all Covid-19 modelling projects and programs in the country.
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