Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 January 2021

B. Science and Engineering 

December 2020

December 24, 2020 (Applied Soft Computing)

COVID-19 X-ray images classification based on enhanced fractional-order cuckoo search optimizer using heavy-tailed distributions

Dalia Yousri, Mohamed Abd Elaziz, Laith Abualigah et al.

The researchers propose a method that extracted the informative features from X-ray images. An enhanced cuckoo search optimization algorithm is proposed using fractional-order calculus and four different heavy-tailed distributions in place of the Lévy flight to strengthen the algorithm performance during dealing with COVID-19 multi-class classification optimization task. The results were compared with well-regarded optimization algorithms. The outcomes show that the proposed approach yield accurate results for UCI and COVID-19 data-sets.

December 24, 2020 (Results in Physics)

A simple, SIR-like but individual-based epidemic model: Application in comparison of COVID-19 in New York City and Wuhan

Xiaoping Liu

An individual-based epidemic model, considering latent-infectious-recovery periods is presented. The analytic solution of the model in the form of recursive formulae with a time-dependent transmission coefficient is derived. The simulated epidemic curves fit very well with the daily reported cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China and New York City (NYC), USA. These simulations show that the transmission rate of NYC’s COVID-19 is nearly 30% greater than the transmission rate of Wuhan’s COVID-19. 



December 24, 2020 (Environmental Research)

Phase-wise analysis of the COVID-19 lockdown impact on aerosol, radiation and trace gases and associated chemistry in a tropical rural environment

Chaithanya D. Jain, B. L. Madhavan, Vikas Singh et al.

Phase-wise variations in different aerosol, radiation and trace gases and their associated chemistry during the COVID-19 lockdown have been investigated over a tropical rural site Gadanki, India. In contrast with the studies over urban environments, air quality category over the rural environment remained the same during the lockdown despite the reduction in pollutants level. All the variations observed for different species and their associated chemistry demonstrates rural atmospheric chemistry and its intrinsic links with the precursor concentrations and dynamics.



December 23, 2020 (Infectious Disease)

Assessment of Air Contamination by SARS-CoV-2 in Hospital Settings

Gabriel Birgand, Nathan Peiffer-Smadja, Sandra Fournier et al.

This paper reviews current evidence on air contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in hospital settings and the factors associated with contamination, including viral load and particle size. The positivity rate of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and culture were described and compared according to the setting, clinical context, air ventilation system, and distance from patients. High viral loads found in toilets and bathrooms, staff areas, and public hallways suggest that these areas should be carefully considered.



December 17, 2020 (Environmental Research)

Did anomalous atmospheric circulation favor the spread of COVID-19 in Europe?

A. Sanchez-Lorenzo, J. Vaquero-Martínez, J. Calbó et al.

Lorenzo et al show that an unusual persistent anticyclonic situation prevailing in southwestern Europe during February 2020 (i.e. anomalously strong positive phase of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations) could have resulted in favourable conditions in Italy and Spain for a quicker spread of the virus compared with the rest of the European countries. They suggested that the strong atmospheric stability and associated dry conditions may have favoured the virus propagation by droplet and airborne transmission. Later atmospheric circulation conditions in Europe (July 2020) and the U.S. (October 2020) seem to support their hypothesis. Interestingly, they pointed out the atmospheric conditions during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 seem to have some similarities with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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