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Tracking the spread of a pandemic

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Tracking the spread of a pandemic
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How are scientists tracking COVID-19 as it spreads around Europe and the world?

As part of a episode focused on the evolution of the coronavirus and how experts are developing accurate testing for the disease, Futuris spoke to Alessandro Annunziato, Head of the European Crisis Management Laboratory at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra Italy.

“During the various phases of the pandemic, we have used different tools, not only one, to give a picture of what’s really happening. In the first phase, it was important to assess and understand the evolution of what we call "cumulative positives", ongoing positive cases. It was important to understand how the situation was evolving. We needed to know when the curve of cases would reach its peak," explains Annunziato.

"During the second phase, after the lockdown, it was important to assess the evolution of new positives, because this figure of new positives would give us the context, the big picture, of when the spread of the virus was diminishing, or when the infection curve was flattening. With these indicators as the basis, we have developed maps and graphics for each European nation to understand the situation in all the different countries."