Epidemiology of Coronavirus COVID-19: Forecasting the Future Incidence in Different Countries

Healthcare (Basel). 2020 Apr 15;8(2):99. doi: 10.3390/healthcare8020099.


This paper forecasts the future spread of COVID-19 by exploiting the identified lead-lag effects between different countries. Specifically, we first determine the past relation among nations with the aid of dynamic time warping. This procedure allows an elastic adjustment of the time axis to find similar but phase-shifted sequences. Afterwards, the established framework utilizes information about the leading country to predict the Coronavirus spread of the following nation. The presented methodology is applied to confirmed Coronavirus cases from 1 January 2020 to 28 March 2020. Our results show that China leads all other countries in the range of 29 days for South Korea and 44 days for the United States. Finally, we predict a future collapse of the healthcare systems of the United Kingdom and Switzerland in case of our explosion scenario.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; control strategies; dynamic time warping; epidemiology; forecasting; incidence; lead-lag effects; risk management.