Mathematics has taken centre stage in enabling policy-makers to design strategies for slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Governments around the world rely on mathematical models to support decisions on key issues such as when to impose a lockdown, and how many hospital beds should be made available as infections rise.

The skills required to build models that forecast the progression of COVID-19 lie in the disciplines of applied mathematics and statistics. Specifically, differential equations and probability distributions are used to simulate the infection process and the uncertainty around it.

If you’d like to find out more, click here to read the full article written by Rendani Mbuvha (Lecturer in Actuarial Science at WITS) and Tshilidzi Marwala (professor and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg)