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Professors and researchers model the expansion of the coronavirus in Belgium and project scenarios for tomorrow

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Modèles complexes

On the initiative of the University of Namur, researchers and professors of some of the French speaking Universities collaborate and share their knowledge to model scenarios, among which deconfinement and help in decision-making.

An interuniversity and interdisciplinary consortium was born, on the initiative of naXys, the Research Institute of Complex Systems (UNamur), which has been studying the evolution of the situation in Belgium for a few weeks.  A team of professors and researchers has created various models, which lean on the statistical data provided by Siensano, who are supporting the initiative.  A similar action is being held in the Dutch-speaking part of the country.

The models project the situations we will have to live in Belgium according to the decisions made by the authorities.  They predict the scenarios of tomorrow.  These estimations comprise a mean trend and intervals can be calculated, which can give an idea of the “trust milestones” between which we should stand.  The models enable short-term simulation but also on the long-term if, for instance, the epidemic needs to be evaluated during the summer holidays.  Each model can be adapted to a particular aim.  Of course, they all have limits and consider some hypotheses.

Four key messages

These works show that mathematical modeling is extremely important, that it contributes to the implemented measures analysis and help predict the evolution of the epidemic.  The also show it is essential to sensitize the public to the importance of complying with the measures and take into account the specific Belgian context.  Tanks to these works, the scientists of this new consortium can perform daily monitoring of the epidemic in a post-confinement phase but this means rapid access to the available data.

Predicting the future is now possible

After these first models, other will be built.  The interuniversity collaborations will enable the study of numerous other specific cases.  Studies and projections, with high benefit, are under way and will enable, on the very short-term, to help decision-makers to choose the best options for sectors in major difficulties.

Access the full press conference text (in French) here...


Members of the consortium


  • Morgane Dumont (
  • Timoteo Carletti (
  • Sébastien Clesse (
  • Nicolas Franco (
  • Catherine Linard (
  • Alexandre Mauroy (
  • Jean-Philippe Platteau (
  • Annick Sartenaer (
  • Vincenzo Verardi (


Outside UNamur

  • Olivier Debauche | UMons) (
  • Marius Gilbert | ULB (
  • Emmanuel Hanert | UCLouvain (
  • Raphaël Lagasse | ESP – ULB (
  • Niko Speybroeck | UCLouvain (
  • Nicolas Vandewalle | ULiège (

GEES and Sciensano

  • Niel Hens (
  • Steven Abrams (
  • Toon Braeye (
  • Marius Gilbert (