The science behind Pakistan's smart lockdown strategy - The Daily News

The science behind Pakistan’s smart lockdown strategy

ISLAMABAD: As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country with each passing day, the federal government has already initiated a ‘smart lockdown’ whereby certain areas, with a large number of coronavirus cases, are locked down so that a colossal loss to the economy is averted. 

Dr Umar Saif, CEO and Chief Digital Officer Jang/Geo Media Group was asked by the government to use his start-up’s technological prowess to create a system whereby the strategy can be executed. came up with a system that can pinpoint hotspots of the coronavirus disease, enabling the government to only seal selective areas rather than locking down the whole country, which would otherwise severely hamper economic activity.

How the system works is simple: Data obtained from the government’s field workers, who use smartphones to record them, is used to generate sophisticated mathematical and epidemiological analysis.

critical element

which generates population maps, house counts, case incidence rates and forecasts using SEIR prediction models.

These models, in turn, use this analysis to issue real-time alerts based on clusters of patients which show signs of developing into a wider outbreak.

generates patient forecasts for each hotspot; maps anticipated patients to capacity in hospitals, and mandates the field teams to report containment activities from the field.

The government has initiated the ‘smart lockdown’ strategy in certain cities of the country to cope with the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In ensuring Pakistan averts huge economic losses and at the same time, helps in containing the infection. 

Dr. Faisal Sultan

The Prime Minister’s focal person for COVID, Dr. Faisal Sultan, appreciated Dr Umar Saif’s contribution towards the crucial strategy by tweeting:

“Grateful to Umar Saif and his startup SurveyAuto for providing the platform for hotspot-based selective lockdowns in Pakistan.

It is based on sophisticated mathematical & epidemiological models to pinpoint hotspots.

and enables the govt to monitor containment activities in real-time.” 

Dr Umar Saif has reportedly not charged a single penny for the project. “It’s [the system] for a national cause, and, at this time, that’s all that matters for me,” he said in a brief comment. 

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