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.

Lab testing for Covid-19 research."

Using Models for Pandemic Insights

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.

— 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, says Arnoldo Frigessi, Professor at UiO and part of the FHI Modelling Team.

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.

Utilising Supercomputing for Informed Pandemic Response

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health used the national supercomputers for running computationally intensive simulations and calculations, necessitating substantial computing resources to model various scenarios. These calculations formed the basis upon which the modeling team and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported to and advised the Norwegian authorities on the epidemiological situation and the anticipated impacts of mutated viruses and vaccines during the pandemics.