TPM part of consortium that researches the impact of the Corona-outbreak on society

News - 05 March 2020 - Webredactie

The Corona-virus is continuing to spread. By the beginning of March, the number of infected people surpasses 87,000, and the death toll continues to rise. Authorities and responders are struggling to contain the spread. In Italy, schools and universities are closed. News about mass quarantine camps or shortages of personal protective equipment threaten the health systems globally, fueled by rumors and misinformation. The disruptions of (medical) supply chains, the lack of capacity to treat patients and the spread of rumours fuel an atmosphere of uncertainty and mistrust, hampering an effective response. Traditional models of disease outbreaks largely focus on infection rates, not taking into account the tremendous uncertainties associated to human behaviour in the response to an epidemic. Therefore, new methods are needed that take an integral perspective and consider the interplay of coordination, information, and supply chains – and associated uncertainty.

HERoS project
In the newly acquired EU H2020 project HERoS (Health Emergency Response in interconnected Systems), researchers of the faculty of TPM, as part of a larger consortium, will integrate behavioural and informational dynamics in epidemiological and supply-chain models. Governance, information, and logistics will be brought together to prepare for and respond to the Corona epidemic. TPM researcher Tina Comes: “The HERoS project stresses the cascading and rippling effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as the important role of information and coordination, which goes beyond purely clinical research”. The project has two phases: in response to the on-going outbreak, rapid analyses will provide actionable advice for health care professionals, crisis managers, and logisticians responding to the Covid-19 epidemic. In a second phase, the project will focus on tying together the learnings from this outbreak and develop a suite of open-source tools and methods to prevent, help contain and mitigate the effects of (future) epidemics and pandemics outbreaks.

The project will be coordinated by Hanken School of economics and includes 11 partners, including 3 NGOs, which allows us to cover all aspects of the epidemics response in Asia and Europe from different angles.

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