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AI-based algorithm shows SA has low risk of Covid-19 third wave - for now

13 April 2021 1:44 PM
Tags:
Algorithm
covid-19 infections
Covid-19 cases
COVID third wave
iThemba LABS

An artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithm shows that there is currently a low risk of a Covid-19 third wave in the country.

The algorithm has been designed by Wits University in partnership with iThemba LABS, the Gauteng government, and York University in Canada.

The AI-powered algorithm is an early detection system that helps predict future Covid-19 cases based on historical infection data.

Prof Bruce Mellado from iThemba LABS says the current data shows that the risk for a third infection wave of Covid-19 remains low.

While models show a low risk of a third wave, the country is still highly vulnerable, the professor explains to CapeTalk.

Mellado, who's a member of the Covid-19 advisory committee in Gauteng, says the algorithm can predict Covid-19 infections at least two weeks ahead of time.

He says the early detection system could give authorities sufficient time to react before the next wave takes place.

A week and a half after the holidays, we don't seem to see a resurgence in the number of cases.

Prof Bruce Mellado, Senior Scientist - iThemba LABS

There are also many other indices that we look into that corroborate that statement.

Prof Bruce Mellado, Senior Scientist - iThemba LABS

For now, as of today, we don't seem to see a high risk of a third wave, but it does not mean that a third wave will not take place.

Prof Bruce Mellado, Senior Scientist - iThemba LABS

It's extremely difficult to predict when a wave will take place... what we do instead is to create early detection algorithms. These algorithms are run on a daily basis to detect whether there is a deviation in the data from low risk... or if we are going towards a new regime of high-risk of a new wave.

Prof Bruce Mellado, Senior Scientist - iThemba LABS

Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report with Lester Kiewit:




13 April 2021 1:44 PM
Tags:
Algorithm
covid-19 infections
Covid-19 cases
COVID third wave
iThemba LABS

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