Global Short-Term Forecasting of Covid-19 Cases

Date: Thursday November 12th, 2020
Location: Zoom (the link will be posted soon)
Time: 12.00pm WET


Dr. Thiago de Paula Oliveira from Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh


The continuously growing number of COVID-19 cases pressures healthcare services worldwide. Accurate short-term forecasting is thus vital to support country-level policy making. The strategies adopted by countries to combat the pandemic vary, generating different uncertainty levels about the actual number of cases. Accounting for the hierarchical structure of the data and accommodating extra-variability is therefore fundamental. We introduce a new modelling framework to describe the course of the pandemic with great accuracy, and provide short-term daily forecasts for every country in the world. We show that our model generates highly accurate forecasts up to six days ahead, and use estimated model components to cluster countries based on recent events. We introduce statistical novelty in terms of modelling the autoregressive parameter as a function of time, increasing predictive power and flexibility to adapt to each country. Our model can also be used to forecast the number of cases, study the effects of covariates (such as lockdown policies), and generate forecasts for smaller regions within countries. Consequently, it has strong implications for global planning and decision making. We constantly update forecasts and make all results freely available to any country in the world through an online Shiny dashboard.

Supplementary Materials

Paper: The paper is available on Arxiv here

Shiny application: The associated shiny application is available here.


Webinar Video

Category: Webinars