What is it about?
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is spreading rapidly throughout Africa and threatening millions of lives. This paper explains the results of a method that untangles the flow of the pandemic between all of the African countries, and generates weekly predictions that are sufficiently accurate to be suitable to guide ongoing policy decisions.
Photo by Andrew Stutesman on Unsplash
Why is it important?
It is difficult for any country to absorb and makes sense of the bewildering array of data on the virus cases each day. Beyond understanding the infection spread, a policy maker needs to be able to predict the next week or so ahead to see what needs to be done to help control the infection, such as transportation regulation and border closures. Furthermore, it is impossible to know for any given country or climate how meteorological factors, such as humidity and temperature, might be important in such predictions without testing these effects. Lastly, it is not possible to develop tools intended to help guide policy implementation unless scientists work closely with governmental authorities who have to make such decisions. In this new work, a team of scientists was assembled from Africa, the US and Europe, working in partnership with the National Planning Authority of Uganda, to develop a tool that monitors the flow of coronavirus cases throughout Africa, and generates weekly predictions for case numbers within each country. The team is making the method freely available to all countries and agencies that can make use of this tool at this very critical time.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Pan-African evolution of within- and between-country COVID-19 dynamics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2026664118.
You can read the full text:
Building towards useful SARS-CoV-2 models in Africa
A commentary on this article.
International team develops predictive tool to help mitigate COVID-19 in Africa
Penn State News article explaining the work.
COVID-19 in Africa Interactive Web Tool
This is an interactive web based tool enabling anyone to explore the results published in this paper.
Full Code Repository
This is the full code repository that anyone can download and run. It is based on the open source R language platform, and is free to use or modify.
Ugandan NPA Press Briefing July 7, 2021
This is a presentation by Dr Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director of the National Planning Authority of Uganda, describing the use of this model for ongoing predictive management of the pandemic within Uganda.
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