PolyU researchers use mathematical models to help the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists around the world are working hard to understand the transmission patterns and find mitigation strategies to fight against this global pandemic. At PolyU, three associate professors, Dr He Dai-hai and Dr Lou Yi-jun from the Department of Applied Mathematics (AMA) and Dr Yang Lin from the School of Nursing (SN), together with their students and collaborators from mainland China, conducted a series of studies since the early stage of the pandemic.
The AMA and SN research team are among the first in the world to estimate the transmission rate, case fatality rate, and gender disparity of COVID-19. Using statistical models, they also investigated the underreport of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan during early January when the testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2 virus was limited.
They further utilised the population flow data to estimate the cases exported from Wuhan to major cities of mainland China, and found that at the early stage, the number of outbound trips from Wuhan was highly associated with the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 10 city-clusters in China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. Their study on domestic travel load also revealed a strong association between the daily number of domestic passengers travelling by train and the number of infected cases.
The team have published 11 peer-reviewed papers in medical journals, which have been cited 142 times so far according to the Google Scholar. Their findings have added important evidence for risk assessment to support the decision-making of mitigation strategies.