Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications - Conference

by Rumali Perera et al.

The spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic affected Sri Lanka similar to how it affected other countries across the globe. The Sri Lankan government took many preventive measures to suppress the pandemic spread. To aid policy makers in taking these preventive measures, we propose a novel district-wise clustering based approach. Using freely available data from the Epidemiological Department of Sri Lanka, a cluster analysis was carried out based on the COVID-19 data and the demographic data of districts. K-Means clustering and spectral clustering models were the selected clustering techniques in this study. From the many district-wise socio-economic factors, population, population density, monthly expenditure and the education level were identified as the demographic variables that exhibit a high similarity with COVID-19 clusters. This approach will positively impact the preventive measures suggested by the relevant policy making parties of the Sri Lankan government.
Read more - PDF

Read more - Link

by Jammeel Hassan et al.

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected millions of people across the globe and is continuing to spread at a drastic scale. Out of the numerous steps taken to control the spread of the virus, social distancing has been a crucial and effective practice. However, recent reports of social distancing violations suggest the need for non-intrusive detection techniques to ensure safety in public spaces. In this paper, a real-time detection model is proposed to identify handshake interactions in a range of realistic scenarios with multiple people in the scene and also detect multiple interactions in a single frame. The efficacy of the proposed model was evaluated across two different datasets on more than 3200 frames, thus enabling a robust localization model in different environments. The proposed model is the first dyadic interaction localizer in a multi-person setting, which enables it to be used in public spaces to identify handshake interactions and thereby identify and mitigate COVID-19 transmission.
Read more - PDF

Read more - Link


Peer Reviewed Publications - Journal


Pre-prints

by Gihan Jayatilaka et al.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global public health crisis. Given its inherent nature, social distancing measures are proposed as the primary strategies to curb the spread of this pandemic. Therefore, identifying situations where these protocols are violated, has implications for curtailing the spread of the disease and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. This paper proposes a novel computer vision-based system to analyze CCTV footage to provide a threat level assessment of COVID-19 spread. The system strives to holistically capture and interpret the information content of CCTV footage spanning multiple frames to recognize instances of various violations of social distancing protocols, across time and space, as well as identification of group behaviors. This functionality is achieved primarily by utilizing a temporal graph-based structure to represent the information of the CCTV footage and a strategy to holistically interpret the graph and quantify the threat level of the given scene. The individual components are tested and validated on a range of scenarios and the complete system is tested against human expert opinion. The results reflect the dependence of the threat level on people, their physical proximity, interactions, protective clothing, and group dynamics. The system performance has an accuracy of 76%, thus enabling a deployable threat monitoring system in cities, to permit normalcy and sustainability in the society.

Read more - Link

by Gayanthi A. Ilangarathna et al.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the education system in Sri Lanka, similar to many countries in the world. As a result, the mode of education shifted from conventional face-to-face classes to online mode. The main objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of the changes to the educational system due to the COVID-19 pandemic among engineering undergraduates of Sri Lanka over three identified pandemic periods. Quantitative descriptive analysis was used together with chi-square statistics to answer the research questions using the data collected through a google survey from engineering undergraduates in Sri Lanka. According to the results, students’ attendance in online classes has improved over time compared to the initial pandemic period. Nearly 50% of students’ family income has been impacted, either stopped or reduced due to the pandemic. Most students have issues regarding computing devices, internet connectivity, and the home environment. According to the chi-square statistics results, few of these issues had a statistically significant relationship between the family income; lower the income, higher the negative impact on students. More than half of the students felt isolated when studying at home during the pandemic. Still, more than 50% of students agreed that lecturers were well prepared to guide and deliver lessons remotely. The overall recommendations of the study are implementing workshops, training on new technologies, awareness programs for educational stakeholders, providing incentives to purchase digital devices, and improving internet connectivity to improve the new standard education system of Sri Lanka.
Read more - PDF

Read more - Link

by Umar Marikkar et al.

COVID-19 continues to cause a significant impact on public health. To minimize this impact, policy makers undertake containment measures that however, when carried out disproportionately to the actual threat, as a result if errorneous threat assessment, cause undesirable long-term socio-economic complications. In addition, macro-level or national level decision making fails to consider the localized sensitivities in small regions. Hence, the need arises for region-wise threat assessments that provide insights on the behavior of COVID-19 through time, enabled through accurate forecasts.
Read more - PDF

Read more - Link


Non Peer Reviewed Publications

by Isuru Pamuditha

Mathematical modelling and their predictions are used in many fields in the present and the same strategy comes in handy in studying the nature and growth of pandemics as well. Studying the exponential growth, behavioural patterns of the society, modelling the strength of such a disease are some examples for similar use cases. ‘Basic Reproduction Number — (R0)’ is one such parameter.

Read more - Link

by Beshan Waduge

Sinovac has already presented the world successful vaccines to prevent Hepatitis, H1N1, Japanese encephalitis etc… and now they are developing a vaccine candidate for COVID-19 which they have branded CoronaVac.

Read more - Link

by Beshan Waduge

On August 12th President Vladimir Putin made a huge announcement to the world calming that Russia has developed a successful vaccine for SARS-Cov19 despite having no published research papers on the clinical trials of the vaccine.

Read more - Link

by Beshan Waduge

On August 12th President Vladimir Putin made a huge announcement to the world calming that Russia has developed a successful vaccine for SARS-Cov19 despite having no published research papers on the clinical trials of the vaccine.

Read more - Link