Tracking COVID

Tracking COVID

Sep 2020 | No Comment

ESA’s COVID-19 space hunting platform

The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently launched an internal initiative to cull ideas for supporting its member states in the study and analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this initiative ESAC’s Galileo Navigation Science Office has managed to get one of its ideas taken up under the name of the “COVID-19 Space Hunting Platform”.

The platform’s remit is to facilitate access to and processing of some of the existing COVID-19 databases for epidemiological studies, topping them up with data from ESA’s earth observation satellites. The aim is then to tap into artificial intelligence procedures to look for any correlations between COVID-19 spread and environmental parameters, such as humidity, temperature, etc. The hope is thereby to help researchers generate products and stats that might be useful for decisionmaking purposes in terms of protection measures and lockdown, while also vetting the efficiency of the measures taken.

Development of the COVID-19 Space Hunting Platform is to be primed by the technology multinational GMV. The Universidad Politécnica de Valencia will also be weighing in with support for processing, data analysis and interaction with diverse epidemiological research groups. This university has defined a mathematical COVID-19 transmission model and has been publishing periodical updates and forecasts of its trend in Spain.

COVID-19 population vulnerability dashboard created

Esri has collaborated with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to create the UNFPA COVID-19 Population Vulnerability Dashboard. This new interactive tool will provide public health workers, policy makers, and the general public with access to useful information on populations vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in order to target preparedness and response and to help save lives.

The dashboard highlights population vulnerabilities at the national and subnational levels, using data from the latest Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) census samples for 94 countries. It identifies populations at older ages, including those living alone, and includes risk factors for COVID-19 transmission such as residential density (household size and persons per room) and access to piped water and other amenities. Daily updates on COVID-19 cases and deaths are embedded in the dashboard, as is global data on health sector readiness. This includes the density of available health care workers, hospital beds, and intensive care units (ICUs).

Jacobs develops new model to help clients

Jacobs has developed a new COVID-19 modeling software program that is based on accepted probabilistic modeling techniques, and fuses publicly available datasets for COVID-19 infection statistics, sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isolation guidelines, other publicly available data, and client or organizational-level data, and explores the differences between virus propagation based on various non-pharmaceutical interventions.

This model can be manipulated to create and assess various scenarios which clients may access – in combination with guidance from governments and health organizations, expert advice from medical professionals, and internal mitigation strategies and protocols. This may help inform the decision-making process with respect to restarting public transportation operations, like rail, road and aviation, or in planning and executing major capital programs.

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