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Daily Tracking and Forecasting of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Trend Using Holt–Winters Exponential Smoothing
190 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020More...
Background: In December 2019, a new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China. The virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, can transmit quickly between people, and spread globally in just a few months. To contain its spread, the Chinese government adopted a series of comprehensive, rigorous, and thorough prevention and control measures. However, to some extent, it will impact economic fields and social development. Here, we sought to design a prediction model to roughly forecast the peak and inflection points of this epidemic to inform decision making.
Methods: We collected daily COVID-19 data from three sources, including (1) the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China; (2) health commissions of each province in China; and (3) the World Health Organization’s Situation reports. We used Holt–Winters exponential smoothing to model and predict the global COVID-19 pandemic trend in each city in Hubei, each province in China, and in each country and region where COVID-19 has spread outside China. The Ljung-Box test was used for estimation. All data and analysis results will be updated every day until the pandemic is over.
Findings: We present the first global COVID-19 pandemic predication model. The trend curve, the prediction graph in the next 14 days and the graph reflecting prediction VS real in the last 7 days are updated every day using the number of cases in each region on the designated website (https://2019-ncov-forecast.com/). By observing these charts, the pandemic situation in various countries and regions can be predicted in advance.
Interpretation: As long as the control of epidemic prevention in a certain area is stable and the data is reliable, the prediction accuracy is very high. However, individual regional data are too small to predict, and there are data subject to the fluctuations of local control policies. Further, the prediction errors are not too precise. Our predictions will help to better understand the global COVID-19 trend and to inform decisions to correctly face the tremendous challenges of the pandemic.
Funding Statement: This project is supported by the 989 Hospital Special Fund to Fight the pandemic COVID-19.
Declaration of Interests: None.
Keywords: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); pandemic; modeling prediction; Holt-Winters Exponential Smoothing; Ljung-Box test for estimation
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