It’s been slightly more than 3 weeks since the 20th February, when the “Patient 1”, a 38-year-old man, checked himself into a local hospital in Codogno, a small town in Province Lodi, Lombardy Region. The present “Patient 1” offically unveiled the outbreak and, in less than 1 month, Italy has become to having the highest number of confirmed positive cases and deaths outside of China, with 1441 deaths and in total 21157 people infected throughout all 20 regions of the country. Up to today, the 14th March 2020, the spread of the infection has not yet shown a consistent signal of slowing down in spite of the national-wide lockdown announced on the 8th March.
On the 27th February, Italy has already decided to put 11 towns on lockdown to contain the virus’ spread. From the following statistics, it is obvious that the virus has long transcended the boundaries of these 11 towns and has found its way throughout the country and overseas.
It’s still hard to predict when it will evetually reach the tipping point. We have conducted some exercises to predict the trend in the next days:
- Time of the prediction 2020-03-12
- 2020-03-13: 17380 (actual: 17660, error -1.6%)
- Time of the prediction 2020-03-13
- 2020-03-14: 20309 (linear) - 20584 (log) (actual: 21157, error -4% to -2,7%)
- Time of the prediction 2020-03-14
- 2020-03-15: 25422 (linear) - 24734 (log)
By today, the development of Coronavirus in China has come to a closing stage and its historical development might shed a light on how the Coronavirus situation is going to develop in Italy, as well as in Europe. Hereafter, we try to establish a comparable comparison in order to understand better the future trend via the following Chart.
23rd January 2020, China has ordered the lockdown of Wuhan City, the epicenter of Coronavirus, with 868 confirmed cases.
27th February 2020, Italy has ordered the lockdown of 11 cities, the epicenter of Coronavirus, with 712 confirmed cases.
From the Chart, the next 5 days are critical for the overall impacts of Coronavirus in Italy. There are 2 worrying points that Coronavirus Italy could out-live its cousins in China and create more severe damages:
- The declining curve of China is much steeper than the one in Italy
- In China, around the 12th February, rigorous and thorough measures have been taken to screen and isolate the infected people in dedicated locations (not at one’s own residence) to minimized any possible spread. Thanks to such compulsary centralized quarantines, new infected cases have dramatically gone down since the 13th February. However the fact that such measures seem to be infeasible in Italy, which undoubtly, is going further dim the hope for immediate improvement.
Besides the yet-unknown end of the situation, another worrying data is the mortality rate of Coronavirus in Italy. While in China, the mortality rate is most likely to end around 4%; in Italy, it currently stays at 7%. The Italian government has not given convincing explanations. Older population seems to be the main reason. Italy has the oldest population in Europe, with about 23% of residents 65 or older. According to Italian officials, most of the victims were in their 80s, a population that is more susceptible to severe complications caused by Coronavirus.
We’ll continue to monitor closely the future development of Coronavirus in Italy and duely share with you our analysis and predictions.