IPB University Experts Give Explanations on Predicting the End of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Professor Husin Alatas, an IPB University physicist, gave an explanation about the prediction of the COVID-19 pandemic using physics. He conveyed that in essence, the natural phenomena observed today are an accumulation of interactions that occur between various related natural components. He gave an example, the COVID-19 pandemic is a phenomenon with characteristics that also follow the rules of interaction in physics, so that it can be modeled and predicted.

"One of the models that can be developed is based on the Ising model to see the pattern of the spread of COVID-19 locally. This model is commonly used in the study of solids. In addition, the discrete sigmoid model is used to make long-term global predictions, in addition to the SIR model which used by many people," he explained.

The Professor of Theoretical Physics added that this is closely related to physics, which relies on two devices. These tools are in the form of analytical tools in the form of mathematics and measurement tools using various instruments.

Prof. Husin continued, based on the two devices, physics is one of the scientific disciplines that has the ability to make predictions on a phenomenon. In addition to the ability to describe it based on the known fundamental laws of nature.

Furthermore, he conveyed that predictions that could be made through mathematical or computational models depended on the data from measurements in the field regarding the current condition of the basic reproduction rate of spread (R0) which shows the rate of spread of the virus from one individual to a number of individuals within a certain time span. From a physics point of view, continued Prof. Husin, limiting the intensity of interaction through "physical distancing" and the use of masks are indeed the two most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in addition to vaccination efforts. Both ways can significantly reduce the level of intensity of interaction between people.

Based on the sigmoid discrete modeling developed by the Physics Department of IPB University, if the relatively small basic reproduction rate of spread that has occurred recently continues and does not experience a significant increase after the Naru holiday, it can be predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic could end soon and turn into an endemic phenomenon. This phenomenon will occur with a record of "physical distancing" and the use of masks will continue to be carried out until endemic conditions are achieved. Not only that, this condition can also be achieved if the new variant of Omicron can be handled properly to prevent transmission.

Learning from the history of a pandemic, he said that this really depends on various factors. These factors include population density and mobility patterns, the level of awareness of the importance of following directions from public health authorities and others.

"History shows that the "Spanish Flu Pandemic" in the early 20th century, when the earth's population was still relatively small, lasted about 2-5 years, marked by several peak waves of pandemics," he said.

However, he said, it should be noted that although the number of people on earth today has increased significantly compared to the early 20th century, advances in science and the availability of information technology that makes it easier for people to communicate globally are factors that can accelerate the end of the pandemic.

The IPB University lecturer continued, if you look at the trend of recent developments, reducing interactions that are crowd in nature is the main key to transforming a pandemic into an endemic one. This effort can be accompanied by loosening the interaction of people in small groups. Not only that, the provisions for the implementation of multilevel Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) carried out by the government must be recognized as having a positive impact on the realization of these changes. Of course, these changes occur without neglecting the fact that the return of interaction in society is a necessity in the recovery of the economy. (dh) (IAAS/SYA)

Published Date : 28-Dec-2021

Resource Person : Profesor Husin Alatas

Keyword : COVID-19, pandemic, COVID-19 vaccination