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Anticipating the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Kaur, T and Sarkar, S and Chowdhury, S and Sinha, SK and Jolly, MK and Dutta, PS (2020) Anticipating the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. In: Frontiers in Public Health, 8 .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.569669


The COVID-19 outbreak was first declared an international public health, and it was later deemed a pandemic. In most countries, the COVID-19 incidence curve rises sharply over a short period of time, suggesting a transition from a disease-free (or low-burden disease) equilibrium state to a sustained infected (or high-burden disease) state. Such a transition is often known to exhibit characteristics of �critical slowing down.� Critical slowing down can be, in general, successfully detected using many statistical measures, such as variance, lag-1 autocorrelation, density ratio, and skewness. Here, we report an empirical test of this phenomena on the COVID-19 datasets of nine countries, including India, China, and the United States. For most of the datasets, increases in variance and autocorrelation predict the onset of a critical transition. Our analysis suggests two key features in predicting the COVID-19 incidence curve for a specific country: (a) the timing of strict social distancing and/or lockdown interventions implemented and (b) the fraction of a nation's population being affected by COVID-19 at that time. Furthermore, using satellite data of nitrogen dioxide as an indicator of lockdown efficacy, we found that countries where lockdown was implemented early and firmly have been successful in reducing COVID-19 spread. These results are essential for designing effective strategies to control the spread/resurgence of infectious pandemics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Frontiers in Public Health
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to Frontiers Media S.A.
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 07:09
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 07:09
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/66675

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