A Year in Multiscale COVID-19 Modelling
Reflections on key insights and implications for disaster governance in Kenya and Africa
Finally, Hope on the Horizon
On a day when Kenya received the first batch of 1.025 million doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine under the global COVAX initiative, just after Ghana, this IBD multiscale modelling series takes you down memory lane and shares fresh perspectives on the manner and meaning of the COVID-19 curves it has been studying over the last one year. The yearlong study has also led to a successful book project, The Future of Africa in the Post-COVID-19 World, the book to be launched by the end of March 2021. This has been an exciting journey of substance, surprises, and scaling of new heights of knowledge on the scale and character of the global pandemic. Inspiration from the developing success of vaccination in Israel gives hope to a world ravaged by a pandemic. On a cautionary note, the high percentage of citizens that should be vaccinated to ensure herd immunity, about 70% according to current knowledge, raises the stakes for African countries with their large populations and slower rates of testing and vaccination.
For hosting 17% of the global population, Africa’s 3% share of the global COVID-19 cases easily escapes the boundaries of defining a narrow escape. Insights from data and new knowledge may, however, reveal new lessons over time⌚.
From just one million COVID-19 cases globally in early April 2020 with a recorded global case fatality rate of 5% and recovery rate of 21%, to more than 115 million cases by March 3, 2021 and a high global recovery rate of 79%, much has changed. For Africa, the higher recovery rate of 89% on the same date with a case fatality rate of 2.6% (almost at par with the global case fatality rate of 2.2%) has been a remarkable observation. On the same date, Kenya compared favourably with 1.7% case fatality rate and 81% recovery rate. For hosting 17% of the global population, Africa’s 3% share of the global COVID-19 cases easily escapes the boundaries of defining a narrow escape. Insights from data and new knowledge may, however, reveal new lessons over time.
The IBD modelling series started with COVID-19 data from January 2020. The abundant COVID-19 data generated since early 2020 justified the choice of statistical modelling to conduct data-driven mathematical…