Modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic for Cyprus

Host Organisation: The Cyprus Institute
Project Budget: 25.000,00 €
IDEK Funding: 25.000,00 €

The COVID-Model project aims at predicting the evolution of the COVID-19 using three complementary models, namely a compartmental, a particle and a statistical model. These models are being used in epidemiological modelling for predicting the spread of infectious diseases with each having different merits. While, for example, equation-based models, such as the compartment models, are less computationally demanding and are faster to run, the compartments need to be large enough so that the mixing of populations is homogeneous. Particle models, on the other hand, are able to tackle truly heterogeneous populations with their own characteristics (e.g. age, gender, immunity status, activity levels etc.) and can simulate more realistically the spread of the disease, but require much more computing power. We will use high performance computing to simulate the population of one million of Cyprus within the particle model. Statistical models are data-driven using concepts such as Bayesian inference and are expected to improve as more data accumulate.
The models take as input common features of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the average number of days an individual is infected, the onset of symptoms and the average period of recovery. The models are then adjusted to take into account the imposed measures and the values of the effective reproductive ratio R0 as determined by the actual Cyprus data. A first implementation of the codes for the aforementioned models has been accomplished and first results were produced (TRL 3-4). The models will be refined as more data become available. Emphasis will be given on the quantification of model dependence and uncertainty. The Cyprus demographics will be taken into account, such as the density distributions of the population, and the breakdown in different age groups. The evolution of the disease will be predicted as measures are lifting using the timings as set by the Government of Cyprus and as a function of the level of testing and contacts tracing adopted.