The simulator that predicted how government measures would affect the spread of the virus …


To what extent will the steps we take affect the spread of the corona in Israel? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Corona projector Prof. Roni Gamzo appeared before the public this week and announced that the coefficient of infection had stabilized: after it became clear that data from recent days indicate a decrease in the number of new patients being discovered and the increase in new difficult patients stopped. Despite this, the Corona Cabinet is currently discussing whether the restrictions should be tightened and the possibility of a general closure is being discussed again.

Every step that decision-makers choose to take will affect our lives and the picture of the spread of the disease in Israel – but how exactly? This is exactly what a special model formulated by an expert from the Technion envisages, which makes it possible to predict how the steps that the state will take will affect the plague.

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Prof. Nir Gavish from the Faculty of Mathematics at the Technion is behind the “Corona Simulator” – a model that predicts the effect of intervention measures on the epidemic. In a conversation with N12 he explains exactly how it works: “The coefficient of infection is the number of people a person who is positive for a virus infects during his illness. The decline is due to two parameters: government measures and the public response.” According to him, the closure of the ballrooms and the reduction in the number of participants in the weddings is what made the significant change in slowing down the rate of infection. ”

The corona simulator of the Technion and the Civil Cabinet

“On the one hand there is a decrease in the rate of infection,” he adds, “but it is fragile and everything can be reversed at this point depending on public response. We have not reached the ideal state of a negligible number of new infections a day “The rate of doubling is low and we can see quite well what will happen in about two weeks.”

“Our model maps a person’s social interactions according to his age – and so you can calculate how much will be infected from his immediate environment,” Prof. Gavish explains how the model is calculated. On questions such as: What will be the effect of closing businesses, closing schools or imposing a general closure in Israel. ”

In a few months: 95% of 25-35 year olds will be infected in Corona?

According to him, there are dramatic differences in the rate of infection of different age groups: “The 25-35 age group is the one that is mainly infected and according to our long-term forecast, within a few months, 95% of this age group in Israel will be infected with the virus at one stage or another. “It’s that people of this age are dynamic, meet a lot of people and go out into the job market. The good news is that the older layers are less interacting – so the infection rate there is expected to be 42%. .

Corona in Israel - Tel Aviv July 2020
Almost everyone in the 25-35 age range will be infected? | Photo: Miriam Elster, Flash 90

“Public trust and adherence to guidelines are important parameters that greatly affect the fluctuation of the plague,” says Prof. Gavish. “In the last month there has been a sharp drop in the coefficient of infection and in this respect it is excellent news. I think it is due to a dramatic change in public response. It’s time to celebrate and the rules of distance and the mask must be observed. ”

However, it is difficult to rely on data from the last few days: “In the last week, the number of tests per day has changed: instead of close to 30,000, only about ten thousand. These things affected the data map that was formed. ”


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