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With COVID-19, modeling takes on life and death importance

Jacco Wallinga's computer simulations are about to face a high-stakes reality check. Wallinga is a mathematician and the chief epidemic modeler at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), which is advising the Dutch government on what actions, such as closing schools and businesses, will help control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Netherlands has so far chosen a softer set of measures than most Western European countries; it was late to close its schools and restaurants and hasn't ordered a full lockdown. In a 17 March speech, Prime Minister Mark Rutte rejected "working endlessly to contain the virus" and "shutting down the country completely." Instead, he opted for "controlled spread" of the virus while making sure the health system isn't swamped with COVID-19 patients. He called on the public to respect RIVM's expertise on how to thread that needle.

Jacco Wallage is an advisory board member Imperial College in London

by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:45:56 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:46:11 PM EST
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by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:47:29 PM EST
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