- The effectiveness of COVID-19 suppression strategies remains unclear
- Charles Sturt research aims to develop an optimal strategy to efficiently control COVID-19-type outbreaks in NSW
A Charles Sturt University-funded research project will analyse epidemiological surveillance data in order to develop an optimal strategy to efficiently control COVID-19-type outbreaks in NSW.
Associate Professor Azizur Rahman (pictured), leader of the Statistics and Data Mining Research Group in the Charles Sturt School of Computing and Mathematics, said the research team will investigate the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 incidences, deaths, and healthcare demand in NSW.
“The research will use epidemiological surveillance data from the Australian Government Department of Health and NSW Health,” Professor Rahman said.
“As we all know, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in New South Wales has led to a rapid national spread around Australia.”
“But the effectiveness and impact of government suppression strategies remains unclear at this moment, given they depend on intervention intensity and duration.”
“These strategies include the immediate lockdowns or community mitigation strategies such as cancellation of ad hoc events and common activities to reduce direct and close contact between people in the community.”
“It also includes travel restrictions, including international travel bans and reduced domestic flights, and public transport and route restrictions, without compromising essential services to control outbreaks of COVID-19.”
Professor Rahman said the proposed model-based intervention strategies, including suppression or mitigation or their combination, will be an optimal strategy to efficiently control COVID-19 outbreaks in NSW.
“Given that the population density and social measures of NSW are different to the other regions in Australia, it will be more appropriate to implement consistent suppression in NSW and continuing intervention in other regions,” he said.
“These strategies will potentially reduce the overall infections and deaths, and delay and reduce peak healthcare demand, and as a result, the burden of COVID-19 will be reduced in our communities.”
“Finally, this robust modelling framework will be adaptable to regional health services including Murrumbidgee Local Health District, which could build collaborative partnership with regional health districts and support their services across Charles Sturt University’s footprint, and develop an extended project for industry funding application.”
Charles Sturt COVID-19 Research Grants have funded the research project, ‘Modelling firewall strategies for controlling COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales, Australia’.
The research follows from earlier related COVID-19 research: Rahman, A. and Kuddus, MA. (2020). ‘Modelling the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in six high burden countries’.The research team led by Associate Professor Rahman includes Charles Sturt School of Computing and Mathematics colleagues Dr Ryan Ip, Lecturer in statistics; Dr Dmitry Demskoy, Senior Lecturer in mathematics; and Dr Michael Bewong, Lecturer in computing.