Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

Cancer Research Centre (Our Work on COVID19)

While cancer research remains the primary focus of CRC’s work, we are eager to offer our data science expertise to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID19 Pandemic
We have created interactive heat maps showing how different Zones/Union Councils across Lahore are experiencing disparities in infection. These maps will offer clues in how various sociodemographic characteristics could be impacting populations differently. For these maps, data were collected at three private diagnostic centers Hormone Lab, TestZone, & Rahila Research & Reference Lab. The collection centers for these diagnostic facilities are spread across Punjab. They also provided a home sampling facility to suspected SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. The data was recorded for the patients (n=14390) that consulted various collection points of these private diagnostic centers in Lahore between May 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, for COVID19 testing.
For details visit us on https://www.covidinpakistan.com/.
In collaboration with Dr. Alis Usman Qasmi (Associate Professor, LUMS), Dr. Nousheen Zaidi (Director CRC) has received a Rapid-Response Grant on Covid-19 initiated by Social Science Research Council, in partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation. Their project's title is –The One with the Rumor: Diffusion of Covid-19-Related Misinformation in Pakistani Twitter Conversations. This is a collaborative project between LUMS University and Cancer Research Centre | University of the Punjab.
Project Summary: During the current pandemic, misleading information has been spreading along with the pathogen. The availability of different social media outlets and access-enabling tools have amplified their dispersion. In Pakistan, the historical legacy of colonial subjugation contributes to a feeling of mistrust towards modernity and its epistemic expressions in the praxis of science and medicine. This burden of the past creates a conducive environment for the reception of ideas that do not require scientific verifiability or qualifies as a safe medical practice. There is, thus, a cascade of misinformation or contradictory statements on social media which is creating hurdles in implementing effective public-health interventions due to public disinclination to support them. Whilst foregrounding the historical contingency for the receptivity of such information, our project aims to delineate the contours of debates about science, rationality, and medicine that continues to inform the public debate on such a critical issue as Covid-19. In this project, we will study the content of Pakistan-based Covid-19-related tweets with a specific focus on political content, health-related content, risk framing, and rumors. Our argument is that by recognizing the historical imperative of responses to modern science and medicine, characterizations of information/misinformation on social media can be more effectively understood. In other words, it is not simply important to document different types of rumors and misinformation circulating on social media but to explore the reasons for which they come into circulation in the first instance and their resonance in a particular political context.
For details visit us on https://www.covidinpakistan.com/infodemic/

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