CompBioMed Associate Partners predicting the impact of closing your local shop on the spread of covid-19

Researchers from the Brunel University have developed a simulation tool that models the viral spread at the sub-national level, the “Flu And Corona virus Simulator” (FACS).

FACS incorporates geospatial data from open sources to single building resolution within small predefined regions. Using FACS, the researchers have modelled the spread of Covid-19 at the local level for several areas of London including Brent, Ealing and Harrow to full resolutions and modelled other areas such as Westminster, Chelsea, Fulham and Kensington to lower resolution.  They have provided estimations for the spread of infections and hospital admissions for a wide range of scenarios, including re-closing pubs, restricting the movements of individual households and the degree of uptake of mask wearing, and validated historic data against anonymised data provided by the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.  The model predicts that a second wave in London is likely in almost all scenarios, although the outbreak is likely to be less severe but longer in duration than the first.

Predictive information on the resolution of individual areas can be used to influence the plans of individual authorities from imposing localised lockdowns, to properly planning hospital bed capacity or redirecting patients to other less affected areas of London.

The simulation work by Dr Groen’s team at Brunel University has also caught the attention of national newspapers such as: The Metro and The Sun.