The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in terms of its global reach and economic impacts. Historically, investment in infrastructure development projects has been touted to boost the economic growth of a nation. The State and Local governments responsible for delivering infrastructure assets work under tight budgets. Therefore, it is important to understand which infrastructure projects have the highest potential of boosting economic growth in the post-pandemic era. This paper presents relationships between infrastructure projects and economic growth. Statistical relationships between investment in different types of infrastructure projects (transit, water and wastewater, highways, power, manufacturing etc.) and indicators of economic growth are presented using historic data between 2002 and 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The outcome of the paper is the comparison of statistical correlations between investment in different types of infrastructure projects and indicators of economic growth. The comparison of the statistical correlations is useful in ranking the types of infrastructure projects based on their ability to influence economic prosperity. Therefore, investment in the infrastructures with the higher rank will have a better chance of boosting the economic growth. Once, the ranks are derived, they can be used by the decision-makers in infrastructure investment related decision-making process.
The paper reviews the insights gained in combating COVID-19 in the US, Japan, and China. After evaluation and investigation, we found that China’s and Japan’s experience of fighting COVID-19 is commendable. The Chinese government and the Japanese administration have implemented highly effective governance and public health course of action to fight COVID-19. Government-led epidemic control with a staunch belief in science can roll out effective pandemic control strategies. In contrast, the US failed to react to COVID-19 effectively. The relaxed public health measures of ending shutdowns prematurely were not working. When the US keeps business open after the spring shutdown, COVID-19 cases are soaring. Such experiences inform us effective governance and a mandatory and stricter approach can better curb a pandemic than milder measures in handling a public health emergency. And China and Japan, where collectivistic culture reins, can better maneuver a public health crisis with collective efforts.
During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.
Based on a convenience sample of 2,092 participants from across all 50 states of the United States, a survey was conducted to explore Americans’ mask-wearing behaviors during COVID-19 according to their political convictions, religious beliefs, and ethnic cultures from late July to early September, 2020. The purpose of the study is to provide evidential support for government policymaking so as to drive up more effective public policies by taking into consideration the variance in these social factors. It was found that the respondents’ party affiliation or preference, religious belief, and ethnicity, in addition to their health condition, gender, level of concern of contracting COVID-19, all affected their mask-wearing habits both in March, the initial coronavirus outbreak stage, and in August, when mask-wearing had been made mandatory by state governments. The study concludes that pandemic awareness campaigns must be run among all citizens, especially among African Americans, Muslims, and Republicans, who have the lowest rates of wearing masks, in order to protect themselves and others. It is recommended that complementary cognitive bias awareness programs should be implemented in non-Black and non-Muslim communities to eliminate social concerns that deter them from wearing masks.
The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.
The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 dataset is obtained by extracting weather, longitude, latitude, ISO3666, cases and death of coronavirus patients across the globe. The data were extracted for a period of eight day choosing uniform time within the specified period. Then mapping of cases and deaths with reverence to continents were obtained. Bayesian Geostastical modelling was carried out on the dataset. The study found out that countries in the tropical region suffered less deaths/attacks compared to countries in the temperate region, this is due to high temperature in the tropical region.
With the outbreak of the global pandemic of COVID-19, online education characterizes today’s higher education. For some higher education institutions (HEIs), the shift from classroom education to online solutions was swift and smooth, and students are continuously asked about their experience regarding online education. Therefore, there is a growing emphasis on student satisfaction with online education, a field that had emerged previously, but has become the center of higher education and research interest today. The aim of the current paper is to give a brief overview of the tools used in the online education of marketing-related classes at the examined university and to investigate student satisfaction with the applied teaching methodologies with the tool of a questionnaire. Results show that students are most satisfied with their teachers’ competences and preparedness, while they are least satisfied with online class quality, where it seems that further steps are needed to be taken.
In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.
Financial Inclusion is considered a key pillar for development in most countries around the world. Access to affordable financial services in a country’s economy can be a driver to overcome poverty and reduce income inequalities, and thus increase economic growth. Nevertheless, the number of financially excluded populations in developing countries continues to be very high. This paper explores the role of Financial Technology (Fintech) as a key driver for achieving financial inclusion in developing countries post the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on four East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The research paper is inspired by the positive disruption caused by the pandemic, which has compelled societies in East Africa to adapt and embrace the use of financial technology innovations, specifically Mobile Money Services (MMS), to access financial services. MMS has been further migrated and integrated with other financial technology innovations such as Mobile Banking, Micro Savings, and Loans, and Insurance, to mention but a few. These innovations have been adopted across key sectors such as commerce, health care, or agriculture. The research paper will highlight the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are behind MMS, along with numerous innovative products and services being offered to the customers. It will also highlight the regulatory framework under which these innovations are being governed to ensure the safety of the customers' funds.
COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. New governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.
The stock market of any country acts as a predictor of the economy. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global financial markets. Besides, it has also critically affected the economy of Pakistan. In this study, we consider the role of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) with regard to the Pakistan Stock Exchange and quantify the impact on macroeconomic variables in presence of COVID-19. The suitable macroeconomic variables are used to quantify the impact of COVID-19 by developing the stochastic model. The sufficiency of the computed model is attained by means of available techniques in the literature. The estimated equations are used to forecast the impact of pandemic on macroeconomic variables. The constructed model can help the policymakers take counteractive measures for restricting the influence of viruses on the Karachi Stock Market.
Aims: We aimed to assess the efficiency of ‘Attend Anywhere’ orthodontic clinics within a district general hospital during COVID- 19. Our secondary aim was to pilot a questionnaire to assess patient satisfaction with virtual orthodontic appointments. Design: The study design is a service evaluation including pilot questionnaire. Methods: The average number of patients seen per virtual clinic and the number of patients failing to attend was compared to face-to-face clinics. The capability of virtual appointments to be successful in preventing the need for a face-to-face appointment was assessed. Patients were invited to complete a telephone pilot questionnaire focusing on patient satisfaction and accessibility. Results: There was a small increase in the number of patients failing to attend virtual appointments, with a third of the patients who did not attend failing to receive the appointment link. 81.9% of virtual clinic appointments were successful and prevented the need for a face-to-face appointment. Overall patients were very satisfied with their virtual orthodontic appointment and the majority required no assistance to access the service. Conclusions: The use of ‘Attend Anywhere’ clinics in orthodontics offers patients and clinicians an effective and efficient alternative to face-to-face appointments that patients on average find easy to use and completely satisfactory.
The use of advanced methods has been increasing day by day in the maritime sector, which is one of the sectors least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is aimed to minimize accidents, especially by using advanced methods in the investigation of marine accidents. This research aimed to conduct an exploratory statistical analysis of particular ship accidents in the Transport Safety Investigation Center of Turkey database. 46 ship accidents, which occurred between 2010-2018, have been selected from the database. In addition to the availability of a reliable and comprehensive database, taking advantage of the robust statistical models for investigation is critical to improving the safety of ships. Thus, descriptive analysis has been used in the research to identify causes and conditional factors related to different types of ship accidents. The research outcomes underline the fact that environmental factors and day and night ratio have great influence on ship safety.
In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.
The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.