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Webinar highlights importance of statistics during pandemic

20/10/2020 16:30

The importance of statistics during the coronavirus pandemic was highlighted at a webinar organised on Tuesday by the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus Statistical Society on the occasion of the World Statistics Day.

In his address, Director of the Statistical Service of Cyprus, Stavros Karagiorgis, said that under the current circumstances caused by the unprecedented corona virus pandemic the importance of current, reliable, timely and trusted data from official sources is more evident than ever.

During this global crisis, he said, the need for statistics has been highlighted all over the world. He pointed out that statistics do not only give a snapshot of the current situation but can help us formulate evidence based decisions and plan the actions that are needed to recover.

He also announced  the launch of this year`s European statistics competition in Cyprus. He said that in Cyprus the competition is coordinated by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, the Ministry of Education, the University of Cyprus, and the Cyprus Statistical Society. The aim of the competition is to promote statistical literacy, stimulate curiosity and interest of secondary school pupils and teachers on official statistics, and highlight the role of statistics in various aspects of society, he said.

In his address, Tasos Christofides, President of the Cyprus Statistical Society and Rector of the University of Cyprus,
noted that the current crisis of COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated that statistics is not just a branch of mathematics but a science by itself, saying that epidemiologists heavily depend on the statistical science. He also referred to  the important contribution of University colleagues in estimations regarding the pandemic, noting that their work is used by the government authorities in Cyprus for their decision making in handling of the crisis.

Moreover, Christofides noted the need to  promote statistical literacy, which should begin from school and said that the Cyprus Statistical Society will take the initiative to discuss with the Ministry of Education so that the necessary changes take place.  

Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of Cyprus, Konstantinos Fokianos, presented models and methodology used for statistics related to the pandemic in Cyprus.

He said that they developed models and methods that are of critical importance in appreciating how this disease is developing and what will be its next stage and in what kind of time framework. This, he said, is a valuable information for outbreak control, resource utilization and to initiate again the normal daily life.

He added that data has shown that the government interventions were successful on containing COVID19 in Cyprus.

Taking the floor, Laust Mortensen, Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health, said that we are now able to produce statistics much faster and data much faster.

He expressed the view that there is lots of room in the future for more national and international collaboration and curation and data sharing.