COVID-19 short-term forecasts Deaths 2020-04-27


Disclaimer

  • Forecasts produced by Jennie Castle, Jurgen Doornik, and David Hendry, researchers at the University of Oxford. These are our forecasts, and should not be considered official forecasts from, or endorsed by, any of: University of Oxford, Oxford Martin School, Nuffield College, or Magdalen College.
  • These forecasts are short term time-series extrapolations of the data. They are not based on epidemiological modelling or simulations. The documentation that is provided is still in progress and not peer reviewed. All forecasts are uncertain: their success can only be determined afterwards. Many mitigation strategies are in place, which, if successful, invalidate our forecasts. An explanation of our methods is provided below.

Recent changes

[2020-03-24] Our forecasts are starting to overestimate in some cases. This was always expected to happen when the increase starts to slow down. Scenario forecasts that are based on what happened in China earlier this year, but only for Italy and Spain sofar.
[2020-03-26] Scenario forecasts that are based on what happened in China earlier this year, only for Italy.
[2020-03-31] Scenario forecasts, based on what happened in China earlier this year, are presented for several countries (line marked with x). Created more plausible 90% confidence bands (dotted line in same colour).
[2020-04-02] Now including more US States, based on New York Times data. And the world.
[2020-04-06] Added a post hoc estimate of the peak number of cases. This needs at least three confirmed observations (four for deaths) after the event. It is based on the averaged smooth trend, and can change later or be a local peak. It is marked with a vertical line with the date label, or a date with left arrow in the bottom left corner of the graph. This is backported to 2020-04-04.
[2020-04-08] Minor correction to peak estimates. Added table with scenario forecasts.
[2020-04-09] Added table with estimated peak dates (if happened) and dates to and since the peak. Note that this can be a local peak, and subsequent re-acceleration (or data revisions) can result in a new peak later.
[2020-04-10] Updated documentation with better description of short-term estimates and peak determination.
[2020-04-16] Added scenario forecasts to all graphs now. This would now be the preferred forecast for most.
This is the first time with a peak in confirmed UK cases (also for deaths, but this is uncertain because it is at the same date).
[2020-04-17] Bird and Nielsen look into nowcasting death counts in England.
[2020-04-24] A summary of our work on short-term COVID-19 forecasting appeared as a voxeu.
[2020-04-27] Our short-term COVID-19 forecasting paper is now available as Nuffield Economics Discussion Paper 2020-W06.
A small adjustment has been made to the scenario forecast methodology, and will be documented shortly.

Further information

  • We believe these forecasts fill a useful gap in the short run. They give an indication of what is likely to happen in the next few days, removing some aspect of surprise. Moreover, a noticeable drop in comparison to the extrapolations could be an indication that the implemented policies are having some impact. It is difficult to understand exponential growth. We hope that these forecasts may help to convince viewers to adhere to the policies implemented by their respective governments, and keep all arguments factual and measured.
  • We use the data repository for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Visual Dashboard operated by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. This is updated daily, but we tend to update our forecasts only every other day.
    US state data as of 2020-03-28 is courtesy of the New York Times.
  • We can only provide forecasts of what is measured. If confirmed cases are an underestimate of actual cases, then our forecasts will also be underestimates. No other epidemiological data is used. Data definition and collection differs between countries and may change over time.
  • We will update the methodology as we learn what is happening in the next few days or weeks. Once the number of cases levels off, there is no need to provide these forecasts anymore.
  • Countries where the counts are very low or stable have been omitted.
  • The graphs have dates on the horizontal axis (yyyy-mm-dd) and cumulative counts on the vertical axis. They show
    1. bold dark grey line (with circles): observed counts (Johns Hopkins CSSE);
    2. many light grey lines (with open circles): forecasts using different model settings and starting up to four periods back;
    3. red line (with open circles): single forecasts path using default model settings;
    4. black line (with crosses): average of all forecasts, recentered on the last observation;
    5. thin green lines: some indication of uncertainty around the red forecasts, but we do not know how reliable that is.
    Both the red line forecasts and the black lines are also given in the tables above. These forecasts differ, we are currently inclined to use the average forecasts.
  • The forecasts are constructed as follows:
    1. An overall `trend' is extracted by taking a window of the data at a time. In each window we draw `straight lines' which are selected using an automatic econometric procedure (`machine learning'). All straight lines are collected and averaged, giving the trend.
    2. Forecasts are made using the estimated trend, but we note that this must be done carefully, because simply extrapolating the flexible insample trend would lead to wildly fluctuating forecast. We use the `Cardt' method, which has been found to work well in other settings.
    3. Residuals from the trend are also forecast, and combined with trend forecasts into an overall forecast.
  • Scenario forecasts are constructed very differently: smooth versions of the Chinese experience are matched at different lag lengths with the path of each country. This probably works best from the peak, or the slowdown just before (but we include it for the UK nonetheless).
  • The forecast evaluation shows past forecasts, together with the outcomes (in the grey line with circles).
  • EU-BS is Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania together.
  • This paper describes the methodology and gives further references. Also available as Nuffield Economics Discussion Paper 2020-W06. Still preliminary is the documentation of the medium term forecasts.

Deaths count average forecast Latin America (bold black line in graphs) 2020-04-28 to 2020-05-04

DateArgentinaBrazilChileColombiaDominican RepublicEcuadorMexicoPanamaPeru
2020-04-27 197 4603 198 253 282 663 1434 167 782
2020-04-28 210 4950 210 260 290 690 1520 170 840
2020-04-29 220 5340 210 270 290 710 1640 180 900
2020-04-30 230 5760 220 280 300 720 1780 180 970
2020-05-01 240 6210 230 290 300 740 1920 190 1050
2020-05-02 250 6700 240 300 310 760 2070 200 1130
2020-05-03 270 7220 250 320 310 770 2250 200 1220
2020-05-04 280 7780 260 330 320 790 2440 210 1320

Deaths count forecast Latin America (bold red line in graphs) 2020-04-28 to 2020-05-04

DateArgentinaBrazilChileColombiaDominican RepublicEcuadorMexicoPanamaPeru
2020-04-27 197 4603 198 253 282 663 1434 167 782
2020-04-28 210 4960 210 260 290 680 1510 170 830
2020-04-29 220 5350 210 270 290 710 1600 170 880
2020-04-30 230 5740 220 280 290 740 1690 180 940
2020-05-01 240 6170 230 290 300 770 1780 180 1000
2020-05-02 250 6620 240 300 300 800 1890 190 1060
2020-05-03 260 7110 240 310 300 840 1990 190 1120
2020-05-04 270 7640 250 320 310 870 2110 190 1200

Deaths count scenario forecast (bold purple line in graphs) 2020-04-28 to 2020-05-06

DateBrazilColombiaDominican RepublicEcuadorMexicoPeru
2020-04-27 4603 253 282 663 1434 782
2020-04-28 4980 260 290 640 1520 820
2020-04-29 5390 270 290 660 1600 860
2020-04-30 5830 270 290 660 1680 900
2020-05-01 6290 280 300 670 1760 930
2020-05-02 6750 290 300 680 1840 970
2020-05-03 7230 290 300 690 1910 1010
2020-05-04 7700 300 310 700 1990 1040
2020-05-05 8180 300 310 710 2060 1070
2020-05-06 8610 310 310 720 2120 1100

Peak increase in estimated trend of Deaths in Latin America 2020-04-27

ArgentinaBrazilChileColombiaDominican RepublicEcuadorMexicoPanamaPeru
Peak date -- --04-2204-1104-12 -- --04-21 --
Peak daily increment 9 13 17 7
Days from 100 to peak 6 -1 4 5
Days from peak/2 to peak 26 14 18 29
Days since peak 5 16 15 6

Initial visual evaluation of forecasts of Deaths