Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Nobel Laureates join the fight against COVID-19 in India

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Sapio Umbrella, a unit of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, has received support from Nobel Laureates in form of advisory engagement, in strengthening its data driven decision support system for COVID-19. Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Levitt, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2013, and a professor of structural biology at the Stanford University and Colonel H R Naidu Gade, an Indian Army veteran, and Chief Consultant of CBRNe Secure India are now a part of Sapio Umbrella.

Sapio is currently engaged with various state and local governments and with central government bodies in providing data-driven solutions for complex decisions during this period.

Colonel H R Naidu Gade, has recently joined Sapio to provide advisory in Security, Defence, and Disaster Management. Sapio has previously conceptualized the pooled testing algorithm for India, besides creating the concept of granular lockdown plan, as some of the data driven decisions being used by the government. Colonel Naidu has also received appreciation for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 2013 to his organization OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).

Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Levitt has also provided his research on the spread of the virus, for use in India through Sapio Umbrella. Sapio has created predictive models that understand the spread of virus across the globe and connects the same to Indian contexts, to be able to predict the spread on a hyperlocal level, with reasonable accuracy. Dr Levitt has done the very first large analysis with well over 100,000 deaths in each epidemic using consistent EuroMOMO data on the same group of countries with a total population of 250 million.

“The age range data leads to two remarkable observations: Just 8% are under 65 years old and 50% are over 85 years old”, says Dr Levitt about his research on the spread and mortality of COVID-19 virus vis-à-vis the mortality rates caused by the flu virus.

“Knowing the correct extent of the problems is critical for any decision making, otherwise we will keep on solving a problem that never was. Today, we have 3 major problems: morbidity and mortality due to the COVID-19 virus, economic impact that’s permeated to the bottom of the pyramid, social impact that has changed crime, essential services supply, and so much more in the society. Since all these 3 problems are connected, they need to be solved using optimization tools. We have built a system that provides lockdown level decisions, and we are in the process of including all kinds of decisions in the system, including incentivization and policies on a hyper local level. With the help of these dignitaries, we will ensure India uses deep data in finalizing its decisions even on a granular level”, adds Hardik Somani, COO of Sapio Analytics, about these associations.

Recently, billionaire Mark Cuban commented that India may lead the change in the post-COVID world. Now, with the addition of Nobel Laureates in India’s efforts against COVID-19, India’s prominence in the post-COVID world seems to be increasing.

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