Only combined contact tracing and mass testing can effectively suppress the virus, shows COVID-19 simulator
A combined approach of mass testing alongside contact tracing is the most effective way suppress the spread and impact of the coronavirus, and avoid strong restrictions being implemented, finds new research from the Institute of Smarts Systems and Artificial Intelligence at Nazarbayev University.
They came to this conclusion using their new development - a particle-based COVID-19 simulator. It presents people as small ‘particles’ on a 2D map with their position, velocity, infection state, availability of contact tracing application, and the results of COVID-19 testing. The contact tracing application informs individuals if they have been in contact with a ‘particle’ later found to be infected.
In their study, researchers used real data from the province of Lecco in the Lombardy region, which was the epicentre of the infection in Italy, to investigate the impact of contact tracing and testing strategies on propagation of the disease. The researchers found that the most effective approach is a combined strategy of both contact tracing infected people and widespread population testing. These two measures implemented together would significantly reduce infection and mortality rates: The number of deaths in the simulation were reduced by 72%.
On a 2D map, the model visually presents and divides people into infected and healthy ones by colour and shows their movement and the spread of disease. This, in turn, provides an idea of the volume of infected and healthy citizens on the 2D map, the number of people in who are infected or healthy, the speed of infection spread, and also helps in understanding the effectiveness of any measures taken. The results can be presented as a graph or in a visual 2D map interface.