Outlook

Findings in this Project

By conducting droplet simulation, it is revealed that “Humidification", “Ventilation", “Wearing a Mask", and “Appropriate Seating Layout" are effective for controlling the diffusion of droplets and aerosols. Moreover, inactivation of viruses due to ultraviolet rays was confirmed in the testing process, and it is recommended to promote it as six pillars of COVID-19 measures.

Mask
Disseminate of the difference in effect between masks and face shields and promote proper use
Maximized Ventilation
Monitor air exchange, HEPA filter, and CO2 sensor
Humidification
Winter target humidity 60%
Hand Washing
Ensure supply of disinfectants and enforce handwashing
Avoid the Three Cs
Follow code of conduct, guidelines, and monitor crowdedness
Decontamination
Inactivate viruses by alcohol disinfection, surfactant and ultraviolet rays

Lessons from Analyzing Data and Infection Simulations

  • ・Avoid contact with people you do not know or have not seen recently.
  • ・Avoid contact with new people even if "“it has been a while” or “it is just this once.”
  • ・Stay within your community.

Lessons from the mathematical characteristics (power law, small-world network, HOTnet models) of complex networks that model human contact:
If people limit contact to only people they see regularly, transmission will be limited and will not spread widely.
If activity is increased and contact is expanded, the connection between local networks rapidly increases, making it easier for clusters to form. With even more activity, clusters can occur as chain reactions.

A network of people in regular contact with each other.
A network with slightly higher activity.
Small-scale clusters begin breaking out.
A network with even more activity.
Clusters occur as chain reactions.

Increasing Activity Spreads Infection

Slowing Activity Contains Infection

  • A network of people in regular contact with each other.
  • A network with slightly higher activity.
    Small-scale clusters begin breaking out.
  • A network with even more activity.
    Clusters occur with the development of chain reactions.
  • With activity lowered, networks are separated and transmission is slowed.

Infrastructure and Organization Needed when Simulating the Spread and Containment of Infection, Strategies for Investigation, and Available Medical Resources

Preparation of Data Access Infrastructure

To accurately analyze the state of the infection and perform meaningful simulations, a wide variety of data must be assessed in real time. In particular, it is crucial to obtain the right(s) to access the following data to produce more meaningful simulations. A system to creatively enumerate and store data utilization scenarios is required to rapidly assign appropriate data in response to emergency requests.

  • (1)Highly detailed data on human mobility: The only mobility data currently available is in 500-m meshes, which are insufficient to examine its effect on the spread in specific locations. Quick access to finely granulated data is required.
  • (2)Large-scale population travel data: Access to travel data, such as those obtained via GPS, are desired. Travel data that include source locations, departure times, and destinations would drastically improve data analysis and simulation accuracy while respecting data privacy. Individual travel histories are not required; the granularity to statistically grasp overall travel trends is the only required information.
  • (3)Quick, comprehensive access to the virus genome sequence is desired. Correlating changes in the virus gene sequences observed in different locations in case of contagion spread and mobility data may lead to more precise control of transmission strategies. Such strategies may be impossible to implement under our current infrastructure; so, organizational reform would be necessary.
  • (4)Data, such as country of origin and airport of entry, would be required to assess the effects of overseas immigration. Access to even more detailed data will be needed to evaluate and simulate the state of the virus within the country.
  • (5)Access to data from cluster prevention strategies and sources, such as HER-SYS, while treating private data with the utmost security, is needed to analyze the particulars of an infection.
  • (6)Data pertaining to medical and treatment facilities would be valuable in estimating the status and risks to medical resources.
  • (7)To evaluate the effects of policy measures, having an organization capable of accessing relevant data and having documented protocols would be desirable.
  • (8)Targets of regular human contact (people, objects, gases within a room, etc.) and their frequency.
  • (9)Access to information related to cluster tracking obtained while paying sufficient attention to the protection of personal information would lead to more detailed analyses and predictions.

Establishment of an Emergency Organization

In addition to the main research team, this project contains many teams performing research as emergency responses. Their data access needs should be treated as an emergency response and not as standard data for research, and an emergency organization is needed to meet these needs. Some of the required data in the previous slide are only available by following strict information security protocols or are provided in addition to a certain amount of legal collateral. However, such data are necessary to respond to national emergencies; therefore, a method to access this data under certain conditions is desirable.

To this end, there is a need to define the emergency level (DEFCON) of a contagious spread as Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red, decide access and management privileges of data sets based on this definition, and develop and accumulate scenarios and AI technology that will utilize the same data.
At present, the only definition available is whether or not a state of emergency has been declared, which means that there is no situation in which an emergency organization can be deployed without a situation in which an emergency has to be declared. This makes appropriate responses extremely inconvenient. Therefore, this is an area that should be improved.

Establishment of an Emergency Dispatch System

To quickly request the assistance of research facilities, colleges, and researchers, there will be contract templates for emergencies, memorandums to approve advance implementations (before the contract), and disclaimers related to the implementations prepared in advance.

Establishment of a Permanent System

It is estimated that even after a vaccine is widely distributed, COVID-19 will still produce sporadic outbreak clusters. It also must be assumed that another influx can originate from overseas. The need to quickly contain such outbreaks will remain for a long time to come. Moreover, the risk of other infectious diseases causing a pandemic will always exist. To combat this, it is critical to form an organization that can constantly monitor pandemic risks and respond swiftly. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a structural framework to build a permanent system, build simulation platforms, and train personnel by forming research societies.

Acceleration of Computational Resource Borrowing and Mobilization

A framework for accelerating plans to lease computational resources and mobilizing national assets is necessary to initiate research more quickly.

Establishing a Space for Information Sharing

Prepare a system that will allow the participating researchers to share information easily.

As COVID-19 has made clear, pandemic response should be considered as an important aspect of national security.