COVID-19 models – Fatally flawed?

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In the fourth of the highly successful PPS Webinar series on COVID-19, Professor Robin Wood of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town will examine the coronavirus models that have so dramatically influenced the actions of policy-makers, governments and people around the world. Many of the models have been perilously flawed.

The webinar series is aimed at keeping medical professionals up to speed with research and developments around the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Models have been developed to predict, among other aspects, COVID-19 infection and death rates. Models have dramatically influenced the behaviour of officials, planners, people and the private business sector – but have also been widely criticised for inaccuracy.

People bought into flawed models, Wood says, “because we didn’t have anything else”.

He will highlight ludicrous decision-making, some limitations of models and the need for their calibration, among numerous other things, during a PPS Webinar on Tuesday 11 August at 18.00 to 19.00. The webinar carries one clinical CPD point.

The webinars

“COVID-19 models – Fatally flawed?” will be the fourth in the five-part webinar series hosted by PPS – Health Professions IndemnityMedicalBrief and UCT’s Desmond Tutu Health Foundation. It will be moderated by MedicalBrief Managing Editor William Saunderson-Meyer.

Wood will present for half an hour, after which he will answer questions. Participants are encouraged where possible to send ahead of time any questions they would like him to address. Send to:


Click to register for the PPS MedicalBrief webinar with Professor Robin Wood


Professor Robin Wood

Professor Robin Wood is director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and a member of the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, where he heads the scientific research group of the Medical Research Council-UCT flagship programme investigating the aerobiology of tuberculosis transmission.

Previously a National Research Foundation A-rated scientist, he has been a Visiting Scientist at Harvard Medical School and an Honorary Professor of the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Wood has served on numerous international scientific advisory boards including the United States Presidents Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, the World Health Organization, the International AIDS Society, the International Partnership for Microbicides, AERAS TB Vaccine initiative, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The webinar series

The PPS Webinar series, in partnership with MedicalBrief and the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, features five webinars drawing on the infectious diseases research and expertise of Professor Robin Wood.

Launching on 19 June, the webinars have been successful and pertinent to the hundreds of medical professionals who attend. Two of the PPS Webinars have been held, and next week’s is the third. There is one remaining webinar in this series:

Historical precedent – The need for perspective: “Study the past, if you would divine the future,” Confucius said. Robin Wood has experienced three pandemics in his lifetime: Asian flu, HIV-Aids and SARS. What lessons may be learned from history, that can inform efforts to overcome COVID-19?

Click to register for the PPS MedicalBrief webinar with Professor Robin Wood


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