Thursday, 13 May 2021 10:09 GMT

New Dubai model to predict Covid spread

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times)

Dubai entities have developed a new epidemiological model to predict Covid-19 spread.

Researchers at Smart Dubai and the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) developed and tested a specialised version of the Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Removed (SEIR) model, which is better able to capture the unique dynamics of the Covid-19 outbreak.


SEIR model is widely used in epidemiology to mathematically model the spread of infectious diseases with incubation periods.

The newly-developed model — called Susceptible-Exposed-Asymptomatic-Hospitalized-Isolated-Removed (SEAHIR) — can forecast healthcare requirements and also take into consideration the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as physical distancing, and different testing strategies on the number of confirmed cases.

The team used a publicly available dataset from the UAE as a case study to optimise the main parameters of the model and benchmark it against the historical number of cases.

The SEAHIR model was used by Dubai’s Covid-19 Command and Control Center to make timely measures on developing testing strategies, increasing healthcare capacity, and implementing interventions to contain the spread of the virus.

The novel six-compartment SEAHIR model could be utilised and extended by decision makers and researchers in other countries for current or future pandemics.

''This paper is a significant accomplishment as it outlines our data-driven approach to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, with a special focus on the UAE and Dubai,” said Younus Al Nasser, assistant director-general of Smart Dubai, and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment.

''Our approach to handling the pandemic and its repercussions echoed our tactics to drive Dubai’s digital transformation and sustainable development, where we consistently rely on accurate data when planning Dubai’s transformation into the happiest smart city of the future,” said Al Nasser, was one of six authors who developed the paper.


The other authors who developed the paper are Dr Alexandros Leontitsis and Dr Aamena Alshamsi from Smart Dubai and Professor Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Professor Abiola Senok, and Dr Tom Loney from the College of Medicine at the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

''Collaboration and sharing of knowledge is key to ending the global pandemic,” said Dr Amer Sharif, vice-chancellor, MBRU, and Head of the Dubai Covid-19 Command and Control Center.

Staff Reporter


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