Scientists from the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI) at Nazarbayev University have revealed that the joint use of mass testing and contact tracing of the infected people using a special mobile application can effectively suppress the spread of the virus.

They came to this conclusion using their new development - a particle-based COVID-19 simulator. It presents people as small 'particles' on a 2D map with their position, velocity, infection state, availability of contact tracing application, and the results of COVID-19 testing. The contact tracing application informs individuals if they have been in contact with a 'particle' later found to be infected.

In their study, researchers used real data from the province of Lecco in the Lombardy region, which was the epicenter of the infection in Italy. In the course of modelling the spread of infection, the researchers found that the use of the two measures of contact tracing infected people and widespread population testing would significantly reduce infection and mortality rates.

On a 2D map, the model visually presents and divides people into infected and healthy ones by colour and shows their movement and the spread of disease. This, in turn, provides an idea of the volume of infected and healthy citizens on the 2D map, the number of people in who are infected or healthy, the speed of infection spread, and also helps in understanding the effectiveness of any measures taken.

The results can be presented as a graph or in a visual 2D map interface.