## Understanding and Modeling COVID-19 at IMSP

In the winter month of December 2019, a novel coronavirus disease (now known as COVID-19) is silently spreading in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China (World Health Organization 2020a, Tweeten et al. 2020). It became an epidemic in China by February 2020. Last March 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.  As of April 1, there are 859,796 confirmed cases, 178,301 recovered cases and 42,341 deaths all over the world (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). Today, several countries including the Philippines are in lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.  People are in quarantine or lockdown at their own homes, stopping almost all businesses, work and classes.

Dr. Jomar Rabajante together with the Biomathematics Research Cluster are studying and modelling the pandemic to understand and possibly predict its course, in the Philippine context. Four of their works are the following:

(1) “Insights from early mathematical model of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (COVID-19) dynamics” where Dr. Rabajante formulated a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected (SEI) compartment model in order to propose measures to prevent epidemics during large events (https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.05296; https://sites.google.com/view/jfrcovid19ph/?fbclid=IwAR0jZ0pEf_JWhXq56-Y3LiJjKohXyFjk4C-jb0BK04hfBbGL7Qk127N2p6E);

(2) “A COVID-19 Infection Risk Model for Frontline Health Care Workers”, where Dr. Rabajante and Mr. Louie Florendo Dy formulated a theoretical model to calculate the risk of being infected in health care facilities (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.27.20045336v1);

(3) “A mathematical model of COVID-19 transmission between frontliners and the general public”, where Buhat et al. formulated a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) compartment model to determine the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 between the frontliners and the general public (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.27.20045195v1); and

(4) “ COVID-19 estimates for Philippines provinces and highly urbanized cities”, where the group simulated and forecasted the possible number of individuals at risk of being infected with COVID-19.

(EC Jose and MKA Gavina)