Enlarged virus in front of researchers in a laboratory environment. Illustration.

Fighting Covid-19

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) has been completely dependent on the national e-infrastructure in their simulations during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Institute does not have their own HPC resources and are thus reliant on Sigma2 to prioritise and
carry out the calculations on short notice. 

Early in the pandemic, when we first started to hear about the now-familiar terms “the reproduction number R” and “infection pressure”, FHI’s Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Modelling Team, led by Department Director Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio, was already running simulations on virus spread scenarios on the Sigma2 supercomputers.

FHI has developed different models to simulate people moving between geographical areas and individuals interacting in virtual representations of society. Data from various sources are added to adjust the models, and then a vast amount of computational power is needed to simulate different scenarios for virus spread or expected vaccine efficacy. Based on this statistical evidence the team and FHI report and advise the authorities during the pandemic. 

Arnoldo Frigessi
The support we have received from Sigma2 along the way has been excellent. Without their resources and unbelievably efficient support, Norway would not have had in time the evidence available to build its containment and prevention strategies, which, as we know, turned out to be the most drastic ones in recent history, but also the most effective ones.
Arnoldo Frigessi Professor at UiO and part of FHI’s Modelling Team.