With information from Raíza Tourinho (Cidacs / Fiocruz / Rede Covida)

What is the current situation and what to expect from the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil? A panel for monitoring the disease in the country was launched on Friday, 27, with real-time updates. The platform allows the user to view the current data, the evolution of cases, deaths, the concentration of the disease and the prediction of the situation in the coming days in all states in Brazil.

The panel is the first action launched by Rede Covida, a joint initiative of the Center for the Integration of Data and Knowledge for Health (Cidacs / Fiocruz Bahia) and the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), which brings together collaborators from several scientific institutions in solidarity. . The entire monitoring platform was developed by four professionals, in collaboration with dozens of researchers, who worked remotely over 10 days, following recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

According to Gabriela Borges, a Cidacs statistician and one of those responsible for the monitoring panel, one of the concerns was to offer an understandable data visualization for all audiences. “We used web libraries to develop a panel that presented the data and predictions in an easy to be interpreted way”, he reports.

According to Juliane Oliveira, PhD in mathematics from the University of Porto and one of those responsible for modeling, the numbers indicate that we are still at the beginning of the pandemic. “The model used by us already shows an increasing increase in the number of cases in Brazil,” he says.

Strictly calculated forecasts can help with decision making

The mathematical model implemented by the group brings data that help public managers to make decisions based on scientific evidence. “The manager who observes a model can anticipate the number of beds, the types of beds, the necessary materials and human resources to be recruited in the preparation of systems and health care”, explains Oliveira.

In addition to physical and human resources, these calculations also contribute to assess the effects of social measures, such as restrictions on the movement of people and the closure of non-essential commercial establishments. “We compare previous experiences and observe patterns of human behavior. Thus, we forecast a situation with an associated margin of uncertainty ”, says Oliveira.

Several mathematical models are being applied to understand the current Covid-19 pandemic. The Covida Network Modeling Working Group adopted the SIR model; an analytical strategy produced from groups of individuals classified as Susceptible, Infected and Recovered. One of the advantages of the model is simplicity and effectiveness in modeling epidemics. “We are contributing to providing a visualization to the population in a fast time of what is happening at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil”, defends Borges.

The modeling team of Rede Covida is made up of about 50 researchers, including mathematicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, physicists, computer scientists and bioinformatics. The entire group is committed to carrying out calculations that project future scenarios for the pandemic in Brazil and to researching scientific evidence in several areas involving the new coronavirus.

The panel can now be accessed at:  Painel.covid19br.org

About Covida Network

The “Covida Network – Science, Information and Solidarity” is a scientific and multidisciplinary collaboration project focused on the Covid-19 pandemic. The network aims to monitor the pandemic in Brazil, with predictions of its possible evolution. It also aims at producing syntheses of scientific evidence both to support decision-making by health authorities and to inform the general public. It is a joint initiative of Cidacs / Fiocruz and the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), with support from collaborators from other national and international research institutions.