Dr Olaniyi Olayiwola, Head, Statistics Department, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has called for the inclusion of statisticians in identifying Coronavirus cases not captured by contact tracing.
The virtual lecture has as its theme ; “Modelling COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria: The Lagos Experience”.
He said that statisticians needed to be included in the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team because tested samples through contact tracing were unable to capture carriers at once.
According to him, doctors can handle contact tracing while statisticians should implement the designed methodology to identify the carriers not captured by contact tracing.
“States and the Federal Capital Territory need to carry out contact tracing and the designed methodology on the same day at the same time.
“Contact tracing and the methodology design need to be done simultaneously within a state but in different locations.
“Hence, appropriate probabilistic sampling is required to sample the population in order to capture all the carriers at once,” Olayiwola said.
He noted that samples tested through contact tracing were less than required numbers to be tested.
“Therefore, the government should increase the targeted sample to at least 7,200 for NCDC to capture all the COVID-19 carriers at once.
“We have developed a model for estimating total numbers of COVID- 19 carriers in Nigeria and the model is an additional approach to contact tracing for COVID-19 carriers identification.
“Our findings show that all COVID-19 carriers will only be captured at once if contact tracing is combined with methodology designed in this work,” he explained.
The statisticians further explained that contact tracing was a process of identifying, assessing and managing
people who had been exposed to COVID-19 carriers to prevent onward transmission.
“Contact tracing helps to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19.
“Existing models for COVID-19 which can help in contact tracing include, confirmed, discharged and death cases,” Olayiwola said.
He said that the models would help to estimate the number of hidden carriers and determine the required sample size for COVID-19 test that would capture all carriers in the population at once.
He added that the model would also suggest better approach to handle COVID-19 for reduction of spread, death cases and government expenditure.