The world’s fastest supercomputer that has run simulations to determine how best to reduce the spread of COVID-19 recommends open train windows and also limits passengers. We use floor-to-ceiling curtains around hospital beds
- Japanese researchers used a supercomputer to simulate the transmission of COVID-19
- They used Fugaku, called the world’s fastest supercomputer in 2020
- Fugaku simulated movement of airborne particles in a series of scenarios
- The most effective way to stop the transmission of COVID-19 was ventilation, limiting the number of people in confined spaces and personal barriers
Japanese researchers have turned to the fastest supercomputer in the world to test the effectiveness of various COVID-19 mitigation tactics.
Tokyo-based scientific research institute Riken devised a series of complex simulations to observe how SARS-CoV-2 could spread indoors, and created a list of suggestions for limiting transmission based on those simulations.
The researchers enlisted Fugaku, the $ 1 billion supercomputer that was crowned the world’s fastest supercomputer in June, to run the simulations.
Researchers in Japan used a supercomputer to test public health measures to lower the COVID-19 transmission and found that limiting the number of people in rail cars combined with good ventilation was effective
Fugaku features 158,976 custom ARM processors, each with 48 CPU cores, which can collectively handle 415.5 petaflops per second, almost three times the previous fastest computer in the world.
The team used Fugaku to simulate how airborne particles that an infected person would cough out would travel through the air in an enclosed space, according to a report by The Asahi Shimbun.
Assuming that each cough releases about 50,000 particles that vary in size between a micrometer and several hundred micrometers, they simulated the probability of another person inhaling one of those particles in different conditions.
The team, led by Makoto Tsuobokura, concluded that one of the effective solutions was also one of the cheapest and that it simply involved opening windows.
According to a shuttle train simulation, the opening of the windows increased ventilation two to three times and significantly reduced the amount of microbes in the air.
The simulation also showed that limiting the number of passengers in each car would lower the transmission even further.
For hospitals, the simulation suggested that the optimal solution would be floor-to-ceiling curtains that completely enclose potentially infected patients.
The researchers used Fugaku for their simulation, named the fastest supercomputer in the world in June 2020, it has 158,976 custom ARM processors, each with 48 CPU cores and capable of handling 415.5 petaflops per second collectively
In offices and classrooms, the computer suggested placing short barriers between shared desks and conference tables to block the passage of air particles from one person to another.
In June, researchers used Fugaku for another compute-intensive COVID-19 project, simulating the effectiveness of different types of drugs in people with COVID-19.
The computer simulated protein binding reactions for 2,128 drugs and recommended several dozen for further research based on the computer calculation.