India plans to develop supermodel to monitor infection transmission and aid policymakers on mitigation measures
The supermodel could be used by the policymakers to overcome difficulties in predicting the rate of spread of infection
In order to have a system in place to monitor future transmission of infection and give decision makers an opportunity to put health systems and mitigation measures in readiness, the Indian government’s Department and Science and Technology has initiated an exercise to use mathematical models for Covid-19 forecasting and surveillance.
As per the statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the model will entirely rely only on the data that is relevant to COVID-19, and also have an adaptive built-in component to learn from the newer trends in the data.
It will aggregate successful evidence-based mathematical and statistical forecasting models and include the best predictive analytics for robust forecasting of infectious disease spread.
The supermodel could be used by the policymakers in India and around the world to overcome difficulties in predicting the rate of spread of infection and how it would burden the healthcare sector, thereby curbing the epidemic.
As part of this initiative, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and IISc, Bangalore will coordinate to connect and work with all COVID-19 modeling projects and programs in the country.
This will help develop a set of benchmarks to assess various models and to finally deliver the COVID-19 India National Supermodel. The Coordination team will consult and work with the research groups active in modeling, various software developers, and reputed companies to ensure delivery of a suitable user interface and software.
A consultative committee will work closely with DST and SERB and coordinators (JNCASR and IISc Bangalore) and modellers of this initiative to provide critical inputs on technical aggregation, guidance, and final delivery of a robust Supermodel.
“Mathematical modeling and simulations for the spread of COVID-19 virus and its impact are not mere academic exercises but are critical needs for rational decision making, planning, and resource management. It is thus of vital importance that a robust National Model which is vetted by a large cross-section of the scientific community working in the area is developed,” said, DST Secretary
Prof Ashutosh Sharma, .