Uruguay has so far been successfully managing its coronavirus outbreak, an outlier in a region badly hit by the pandemic. The Uruguayan President summoned in this juncture an Honorary Scientific Advisory Group, one of whose members is Dr. Paganini, coordinating the efforts in modeling and data for the epidemic. The talk will provide an overview of the different aspects of Uruguay´s response: the timeliness and strength of the initial voluntary confinement, and the subsequent enhacement of testing, tracing and isolation capabilities. These actions, in the Uruguayan demographic, geographical, and sanitary context, have enabled a situation of relative control during the last six months. We will comment on the lessons and limitations of mathematical models for the epidemic, and remark on what lies ahead for the country.
Fernando Paganini received degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Universidad de la República, Uruguay (1990), and his MS (1992) and PhD (1996) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. From 1996 to 1997 he was postdoctoral associate at MIT. Between 1997 and 2005 he was on the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department at UCLA, reaching the rank of Associate Professor. Since 2005 he is Professor of Engineering at Universidad ORT Uruguay, and since 2019 Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Paganini has received the 1995 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award, the 1999 Packard Fellowship, the 2004 George S. Axelby Best Paper Award, and the 2010 Elsevier Scopus Prize. He is a member of the Uruguayan National Academies, both in Science and in Engineering, and a member of the Latin American Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and has served in the Editorial board of IEEE Transactions in his fields of interest: control and networks.