Controlling COVID19 through enhanced population surveillance and intervention (Con-COV): a platform approach

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: Institute of Life Science Medical School


In December 2019 the world learnt of the novel (new) virus; COVID-19, which has rapidly become a global pandemic. The virus has had an unprecedented effect on the global population in a very short space of time meaning international governing bodies and health care provisions have had to devise their responses to fight the virus and protect people, in real time based on ever evolving information.

In Wales a specialist research team made up of representatives from; Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, academia, and the public have come together to develop a project which will rapidly analyse data from numerous sectors including primary and secondary care. The project will ensure; 1) policy makers and health care providers are kept informed and have a detailed insight into the evolving pandemic; 2) interventions which are being used to fight and control the virus are evaluated for their effectiveness; 3) the general public are kept informed.
DHSC/UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative - Proposal Form_v4.0

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Each week the project will provide a report to Welsh Government COVID19 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and British Government's SAGE; this will help inform evidencebased strategies to control the virus, safe guard the general population and bring the UK out of lockdown (Jan and Chris Davies, members of public).

Technical Summary

Con-COV Technical Summary.

Background: COVID19 is a rapidly evolving complex issue that requires near real time data, analyses and multidisciplinary team science to devise, implement and evaluate a wide variety of inter- and cross-sectoral interventions in order to minimise population harm.
Aims: to integrate multiple sources of data to produce timely and responsive analyses to: 1) provide detailed insight into the evolving pandemic in the general population, vulnerable groups and diverse settings (health care workers, social care workers, care homes and schools); 2) support and undertake evaluations of the effectiveness of adopted counter measures as these evolve; 3) rapidly inform policy and practice decision makers; and 4) communicate effectively with the general public.
Methods: We will build on the existing total population 3.2 million Wales Multimorbidity Cohort funded by HDRUK/MRC to create the greatest in-depth COVID19 population study with data enhancements on vulnerable groups and settings, serology and viral genomics, scale the breadth and depth of disciplines involved and support embedded evaluations of countermeasures. Our multi-agency team includes individuals from Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, academics from multiple disciplines and members of the public.
Deliverables: Reports on exposure risks, incidence and outcomes to Welsh Government COVID19 Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and onwards to SAGE; share models with multiple UK groups including SPI-M, triallists, and the Royal Society DELVE initiative; and provide evaluations of natural experiments in policy and practice.
Timeline: We will report weekly to TAG and monthly to funders, recognising the time-sensitive requirements needed to inform evidence-based control and exit strategies.


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