A method used to forecast weather conditions have now been employed to predict how fast coronavirus could spread in different countries as lockdown restrictions are eased. A group of scientist, including weathermen from University of Reading, UK, applied data assimilation, a technique used in weather forecasting in covid prediction.
Data assimilation is a technique that combines multiple sources of information to estimate how a situation will develop over time. The group of scientists claimed that it was possible to make accurate predictions of how easing measures might affect the spread of coronavirus up to two weeks in advance.
In applying the technique to predicting coronavirus, the researchers said that they have to look at hospital admissions, number of patients in intensive care, number of daily deaths and combined with models calculating risk of vulnerability, exposure, infection and death. Norwegian Research Centre Professor Geir Evensen who led the study said that they could estimate accurately how the Reproductive (R) number varies in time in response to implementing or loosing up various mitigation measures. R is the number of people a person infected with coronavirus is likely to infect.
De Javier Amezcua, one of the three Reading scientists who worked on the study said that most of the data was uncertain to some degree. However, he said that combining as much of the data from different sources will iron out some of the uncertainty when predicting future events. The study has shown how situations will develop in different scenarios. They also said that this technique could be used to create longer-term forecasts.
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