In collaboration with our project funders RESAS and Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division, a number of our researchers have volunteered to support the UK and Scottish Covid-19 response. EPIC continues to prepare for livestock disease outbreaks.
Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium originally formed by the ‘Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health’ at the 'University of Glasgow', ‘Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland’ (BioSS) and others, is part of the wider Royal Society convening call ‘Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic’ RAMP to develop more epidemiological models of COVID-19 spread. RAMP aims to develop a more robust and clearer understanding of the impacts of different exit strategies from lockdown. Through adapting large-scale animal disease models developed as part of EPIC, the Roslin Institute, BioSS and University of Glasgow teams are using data analysis to determine patterns of Covid-19 transmission in Scotland and wider UK. The collaborations within RAMP are enabling disease modelers from EPIC to work with software engineers from industry optimising code to run at scale and speed.
Researchers at the Roslin Institute have rapidly developed a publicly-accessible data dashboard to provide a picture of how the COVID-19 outbreak in Scotland is developing. The data, which are updated daily and include the number of cases, deaths and tests performed, are presented as a series of easy to read graphs. The dashboard feeds into daily briefings for The Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group.
EPIC members are also helping translate the science of COVID-19 through the media and to the Lords Science and Technology committee.
Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral genome sequencing by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium will track virus transmission in Scotland and help inform advice on when the transmission looks to be low enough that social distancing measures could be eased.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security have been advocating a “One Health” approach. One Health principles are being used to benefit RAMP through the strengthening of multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary work through academic-policy-industry links.
Members of The James Hutton Institute Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) department are investigating how COVID-19 is causing major shocks to the global food system through impacts on multiple parts of it. Examples include reductions in productivity (e.g. labour limitations), breakdown of distribution, changed demands and supply chain restrictions.
EPIC researchers based at SRUC Inverness are using quantitative epidemiology to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in rural Scotland. The work is part of the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office Rapid Research Covid-19 funding call.
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