Published on 15 Sep 2021

New modelling application can help cut Covid-19 infections, deaths by up to 89%: NTU scientists

The Straits Times online, 15 Sep -

More information on media coverage -

Predictive computer modelling developed by scientists from NTU can propose strategies that could have reduced Covid-19 infections and deaths by 59 per cent to 89 per cent in countries studied. It was tested on real pandemic data from four large Asian countries for the whole of 2020.

The team is working with local agencies such as the National Centre for Infectious Diseases to incorporate more data that is not publicly available for future enhancements of the tool. The model recommended timely and country-specific advice on the optimal application and duration of Covid-19 interventions, such as home quarantines, social distancing measures, and personal protective measures that would help to soften the impact of the pandemic. Governments would also be able to test the outcome of a strategy before it is implemented.

Asst Prof Zhang Limao from NTU's CEE, who led the study, said: “The main goal of our study is to aid health authorities to make data-driven decisions...there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and we hope our comprehensive programme would be able to help governments tailor the solutions at an early stage to best fit their country's needs at different stages of the pandemic.” Japan and South Korea were selected as these countries were two of the earliest to take measures to control the pandemic, the study's co-author,

Prof May O. Lwin, chair of NTU's WKWSCI, said. “We hope the program will be especially useful in relatively less developed countries, as they face greater challenges on medical and economic fronts," she added. Some of the less developed countries may not have sufficient or real time data feed capabilities and were often caught by surprise by the steep increase in cases and deaths, Prof Lwin said.