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 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.
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.
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.
Background: Skin cancer is now is the buzzing button in the field of medical science. The cyst's pandemic is drastically calibrating the body and well-being of the global village. Methods: The extracted image of the skin tumor cannot be used in one way for diagnosis. The stored image contains anarchies like the center. This approach will locate the forepart of an extracted appearance of skin. Partitioning image models has been presented to sort out the disturbance in the picture. Results: After completing partitioning, feature extraction has been formed by using genetic algorithm and finally, classification can be performed between the trained and test data to evaluate a large scale of an image that helps the doctors for the right prediction. To bring the improvisation of the existing system, we have set our objectives with an analysis. The efficiency of the natural selection process and the enriching histogram is essential in that respect. To reduce the false-positive rate or output, GA is performed with its accuracy. Conclusions: The objective of this task is to bring improvisation of effectiveness. GA is accomplishing its task with perfection to bring down the invalid-positive rate or outcome. The paper's mergeable portion conflicts with the composition of deep learning and medical image processing, which provides superior accuracy. Proportional types of handling create the reusability without any errors.
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.
This research examined and outlined some of the challenges facing Islam and Muslims in the 21st century, considering global Islamic representation and knowledge acquisition as key objectives. It was observed that the Western media misrepresentation of Islam and the Western ethos embodied by the acquisition of western civilisation are major challenges faced by Islam and Muslims today. The problem of sectarianism, decline in the socio-economic power of Muslim communities and the archaic nature of the Islamic creed were recorded as major actors to the evolving global Islamic issues. It was therefore concluded that Islam is not the reason for these challenges, rather the action of some Muslims and non-Muslims were the contributing factors to the pandemics faced by Islam and Muslims. Some relevant recommendations were made to the Islamic world that could serve as effectual solutions to these lingering problems.
Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic increased significantly worldwide. The rise in cases of HIV/AIDS was also followed by an increase in the incidence of opportunistic infection, with tuberculosis being the most opportunistic infection found in HIV/AIDS and the main cause of mortality in HIV/AIDS patients. Diagnosis of tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS patients is often difficult because of the uncommon symptom in HIV/AIDS patients compared to those without the disease. Thus, diagnostic tools are required that are more effective and efficient to diagnose tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS. CXCL-10/IP-10 is a chemokine that binds to the CXCR3 receptor found in HIV/AIDS patients with a weakened immune system. Tuberculosis infection in HIV/AIDS activates chemokine IP-10 in urine, which is used as a marker for diagnosis of infection. The aim of this study was to prove whether IP-10 urine can be a biomarker diagnosis of active lung tuberculosis in HIV-AIDS patients. Design of this study is a cross sectional study involving HIV/AIDS patients with lung tuberculosis as the subject of this study. Forty-seven HIV/AIDS patients with tuberculosis based on clinical and biochemical laboratory were asked to collect urine samples and IP-10/CXCL-10 urine being measured using ELISA method with 18 healthy human urine samples as control. Forty-seven patients diagnosed as HIV/AIDS were included as a subject of this study. HIV/AIDS were more common in male than in women with the percentage in male 85.1% vs. 14.5% of women. In this study, most diagnosed patients were aged 31-40 years old, followed by those 21-30 years, and > 40 years old, with one case diagnosed at age less than 20 years of age. From the result of the urine IP-10 using ELISA method, there was significant increase of the mean value of IP-10 urine in patients with TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection compared to the healthy control with mean 61.05 pg/mL ± 78.01 pg/mL vs. mean 17.2 pg/mL. Based on this research, there was significant increase of urine IP-10/CXCL-10 in active lung tuberculosis with HIV/AIDS compared to the healthy control. From this finding, it is necessary to conduct further research into whether urine IP-10/CXCL-10 plays a significant role in TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection, which can also be used as a biomarker in the early diagnosis of TB-HIV.
An analysis of the Australian Diabetes Screening Study estimated undiagnosed diabetes mellitus [DM] prevalence in a high risk general practice based cohort. DM prevalence varied from 9.4% to 18.1% depending upon the diagnostic criteria utilised with age being a highly significant risk factor. Utilising the gold standard oral glucose tolerance test, the prevalence of DM was 22-23% in those aged >= 70 years and <15% in those aged 40-59 years. Opportunistic screening in Australian general practice potentially can identify many persons with undiagnosed type 2 DM. An Australian Bureau of Statistics document published three years ago, reported the highest rate of DM in men aged 65-74 years [19%] whereas the rate for women was highest in those over 75 years [13%]. If you consider that the Australian Bureau of Statistics report in 2007 found that 13% of the population was over 65 years of age and that this will increase to 23-25% by 2056 with a further projected increase to 25-28% by 2101, obviously this information has to be factored into the equation when age related diabetes prevalence predictions are calculated. This 10-15% proportional increase of elderly persons within the population demographics has dramatic implications for the estimated number of elderly persons with DM in these age groupings. Computational methodology showing the age related demographic changes reported in these official statistical documents will be done showing estimates for 2056 and 2101 for different age groups. This has relevance for future diabetes prevalence rates and shows that along with many countries worldwide Australia is facing an increasing pandemic. In contrast Japan is expected to have a decrease in the next twenty years in the number of persons with diabetes.
We developed new processes which can collect and detect rapidly airborne pathogens such as the avian flu virus for the pandemic prevention. The fluorescence antibody technique is known as one of high-sensitive detection methods for viruses, but this needs up to a few hours to bind sufficient fluorescence dyes to viruses for detection. In this paper, we developed a mist-labeling can detect substitution viruses in a short time to improve the binding rate of fluorescent dyes and substitution viruses by the micro reaction process. Moreover, we developed the rapid detection system with the above “mist labeling”. The detection system set with a sampling bag collecting patient’s breath and a cartridge can detect automatically pathogens within 10 minutes.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses have created demand for a cost-effective vaccine to prevent a pandemic of the disease. Here, we report that Trichoplusia ni (T. ni) larvae can act as a cost-effective bioreactor to produce recombinant HA5 (rH5HA) proteins as an potential effective vaccine for chickens. To facilitate the recombinant virus identification, virus titer determination and access the infected larvae, we employed the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) derived from Perina nuda virus (PnV, belongs to insect picorna like Iflavirus genus) to construct a bi-cistronic baculovirus expression vector that can express the rH5HA protein and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) simultaneously. Western blot analysis revealed that the 70 kDa rH5HA protein and partially cleaved products (40 kDa H5HA1) were generated in T. ni larvae infected with recombinant baculovirus carrying the H5HA gene. These data suggest that the baculovirus-larvae recombinant protein expression system could be a cost-effective platform for H5N1 vaccine production.