Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: Abu Dhabi adopts mathematical model to predict Covid-19 spread

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 1, 2020 | Last updated on July 1, 2020 at 11.23 pm
Combating, coronavirus, Covid-19, Abu Dhabi, UAE, mathematical model, Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, predict, spread, virus

(KT file photo by Ryan Lim)

Information produced by the computer-based model will contribute to developing pre-emptive plans to tackle the virus.

In line with guidance from Advanced Technology Reserch Council, the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) has collaborated with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), to develop a new computer-based mathematical model designed to analyse the predicted spread of Covid-19, in addition to providing insight into its foreseeable development in the short and long term.

The information produced by this model will contribute to developing pre-emptive plans to tackle the virus and implementing imperative initiatives that will contribute to protecting the health and well-being of the community.

The new mathematical model is distinguished from other models by its algorithms that monitor and track the virus in the emirate. This method works by monitoring the available data on the movement of individuals across the city.

Using these details, the model creates a map that identifies the central regions contributing to the acceleration of the virus and the extent to which these areas are partially or entirely closed. This also contributes to forecasting the number of hospital beds and intensive care units required.

Furthermore, other functions of the new mathematical model include monitoring and tracking the pace of the virus spread in the emirate. This innovative source for information also accurately highlights future requirements for the community through the information it provides and its unique features.

These features take into consideration the different segments of society including their locations, ages, and illnesses they have previously or currently suffer from.

Dr Jamal Mohammed Al-Kaabi, Acting under-secretary of DoH, said: "Through this unprecedented pandemic that the globe is facing, we have demonstrated that no obstacle is too challenging for our society as we move towards maintaining the health and well-being of our community. Despite the current circumstances, we continue our approach based on scientific research, and the implemention of modern technologies to ensure high-quality healthcare treatment is accessible to all residents in Abu Dhabi. This also demonstrates DoH's targeted prevention approach based on enhancing prevention and protection against the virus.

"This represents the cornerstone of our vision, and will continue along the same path, determined to contain and control Covid-19."

"We are delighted to work with UAEU to develop this innovative mathematical tool, equipped with the latest features that enable us to stay ahead of the curve and provide society with the essential healthcare services needed in advance. The system is able to anticipate the necessary resources and numbers of daily casualties in the short term with an accuracy rate of more than 90 per cent", added Al-Kaabi.

Professor Ghaleb Ali Al-Buraiki, deputy director for Academic Affairs, and acting director of UAEU, stressed the importance of joining forces in the current circumstances. He emphasised that this unique research collaboration includes a dedicated team of experts and researchers from UAEU and the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi from various specialisations such as epidemiology, public health, data science, mathematical modelling, Artificial Intelligence (AI), engineering sciences, transportation analysis, among others. He added that this will also contribute to comprehensive research work and innovation to formulate highly effective models and algorithms to predict the dynamics of the virus spread and methods of containing it.

With this tool, decisions based on scientific evidence, analysis, and reading of big data have been adopted, with several initiatives implemented on the ground to ensure the sustainability of the emirate's health sector infrastructure under the current circumstances. It also focuses in particular on ensuring the readiness of the workforce and forecasting the health resources required at all times during this pandemic, as well as adopting a targeted prevention approach based on enhancing prevention and protection against the virus among certain groups of society, and access to treatment.

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