I was delighted to see an article on the BBC website today repeating much of what we said in a blog post back in January! When we blogged the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus globally was doubling roughly every two days; but now the BBC reports that confirmed cases in the UK are only doubling every 3-4 days. In the current situation we have to be thankful for any good news.
This is also a reminder that our understanding of the pandemic is still changing from day to day as more data emerges – a theme that we first blogged about in January too. This theme was reinforced again in the news today with reports of a new piece of research that predicted there could be as few as 7000 Coronavirus deaths in the UK.
It is therefore probably timely to update another one of our blog pieces, this time from March 12th, in which we mentioned the progress of the disease in Italy. Fitting a logistic curve to the data up to that point (at which time Italy had reported about 12 500 cases) suggested that the total number of confirmed cases in Italy would ultimately reach about 40 000 but, sadly, that has not proven to be the case. Re-fitting the curve two weeks later suggests a much more prolonged and severe wave of infections.
Meanwhile, fitting to data in the UK a week ago suggested a final total of around 50 000 confirmed cases for this pandemic wave.
Once again, this picture changes daily as new information emerges: to reiterate, the predicted total for Italy trebled over the course of two weeks. However, as can be seen from the graph, so far progress of the disease is actually below the fitted curve. We’ll keep you posted.