CANBERRA, Aug 25: Australia’s national science agency has developed a tool capable of forecasting the number of Lowered Covid – 19 Cases on each international flight to the country.
The model, which was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), uses the number of incoming travellers and the rate of Lowered Covid – 19 Cases in their country of origin to estimate case numbers aboard a flight.
Jess Liebig, a CSIRO research scientist, said it would act as another tool to aid government decisions on travel restrictions and opening borders.
“The model is a flexible framework that can be used to quantify the effects of travel restrictions and to evaluate proposed relaxations,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It also enables us to pinpoint the groups of travellers most likely to be carrying the virus, so authorities can more efficiently direct healthcare and bio-security control strategies.”
In a study published on Wednesday, Liebig’s team applied the model to two different scenarios; one with open international borders and one with actual travel restrictions imposed by the federal government between January and June 2020.
They found that the restrictions reduced the number of Covid-19 cases brought into Australia by 88 per cent.
“Our modelling shows that without travel restrictions, over 48,000 Covid-19 cases were likely to have been imported to Australia from January to May 2020,” Liebig said.