Wednesday, 14 October 2020

A piece of UniTrento in the Basque Covid-19 Task Force

Versione stampabile

A mathematics researcher of the University of Trento is part of the task force that developed models to monitor the spread of the virus in the Basque Country in relation to response measures such as the lockdown, social distancing and quarantine. The results of their work were published today in Scientific Reports.

Maira Aguiar, a young academic of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Trento, proudly commented: "It is the first study of this kind on the Basque Country. We developed a model that can be used to measure the spread of the contagion in relation to the lockdown, social distancing and quarantine at home".

The study was conducted following a multidisciplinary approach (including statistics and artificial intelligence) by a team established in March to support the Basque Health Care Service in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper presents the efforts and the challenges of developing a stochastic model to describe the dynamics observed. The models developed by the task force, which differentiate mild and asymptomatic from severe cases that need hospitalization, were able to provide projections on the spread of the epidemic, and important data on the actions the health care system had to implement to face an increase of hospitalizations.

Short- and long-term predictions (between March and August) were tested with good results against epidemiological data available. "We demonstrated that the partial lockdown was effective and enough to slowly decrease disease transmission in the Basque Country, which is calculated based on R0, the basic reproduction number".

Maira Aguiar, 39, originally from Brazil, was awarded a European Commission research fellowship at the University of Trento in 2019 through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA-IF), and is now participating in the second year of a research project on the dynamic modelling of infectious diseases. In the framework of the project, Maira will be in Bilbao until next spring, when she will return to UniTrento to continue her work.

About the article
The article “Modelling COVID 19 in the Basque Country from introduction to control measure response” was written by Maira Aguiar (University of Trento) with Eduardo Millán Ortuondo, Joseba Bidaurrazaga Van‑Dierdonck and Javier Mar (Basque Health Service) and Nico Stollenwerk (Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics).
It was published today, 14 October 2020, in Scientific Reports.
The paper is available on:
The paper is available on: