At NIPH, a COVID-19 taskforce uses Telenor’s mobility dataset to predict plausible spread scenarios of the virus in Norway.
“We have created a metapopulation COVID-19 transmission model. The model consists of three layers: a population structure of each municipality; a disease transmission model of each municipality; and the mobility data describing movements between municipalities. From it, we can estimate the current and future trajectory of the epidemic down to the municipality level,” says Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio, Department Director at NIPH.
de Blasio says the information is used to quantify the number of hospitalisations and ICU beds needed, both at the local and national level.
“The model provides situational awareness and predicts the course of the epidemic, as it unfolds. During public health emergencies, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities need to make decisions on interventions measures and target response needs. In these situations, mathematical models are valuable tools for preparedness planning and decision making,” says de Blasio, adding that the data also let health authorities examine if government actions such as school closures, tele-working and banning cabin trips have reduced the spread of the infection, and impacted the population mobility.