20 Jul Group Testing Protocols in Higher Dimensions to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic
Most nations and their healthcare systems have been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass testing is central to rapid tracing and breaking the chain of community transmission. However, corona testing can be prohibitively expensive, especially for poorer nations. We develop and present testing protocols based on the group testing technique, in which several samples are pooled and evaluated as a group using a single test. We show that by cleverly choosing overlapping groups, one can dramatically reduce the number of required tests. For example, assuming an infection rate of 0.1%, the whole Swiss population, 8’570’000, could be tested using only 302’915 tests. Using these testing protocols, large populations can be mass tested while significantly decreasing the number of required tests.
André Louis Gaël Mudry