Nowcasting COVID-19 in Sri Lanka
When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020, they did so for the 6th time since the International Health Regulations (IHR) had been in force. But, it was not till 11 February 2020, that the virus was given a name: COVID-19.
The first infected Sri Lankan national was reported on 11 March and since then we have not been excluded from its devastating effects.
Tracing the spread of the virus, we created a time series displaying the crucial events surrounding the situation in the country. This includes counts on arrivals to the country, infected cases, recoveries, and deaths. We have also highlighted the vital points of the government response to control the spread of the pandemic. This includes days the curfew was lifted, issuance of special government circulars, and other such actions by the Sri Lankan government.
This infographic presents a multidimensional snapshot of the available data
Follow this link to keep up-to-date on the latest developments, the past occurrences, and basic reproduction numbers all in one single snapshot! > https://bit.ly/Covid19SL
One of the main drawbacks of available data is the time lag between infections and those infections being reported. Adjusting this lag using an advanced statistical technique called 'Nowcasting' can help predict the present. Nowcasting aims to predict the 'occurred but not yet reported number of patients.
Applying nowcasting to the coronavirus data in Sri Lanka and basing it on the actual infections we have calculated the Basic Reproduction Number (R0). The Reproduction Number is an important statistics in making decisions about when to implement lockdowns/social distancing and when to relax.
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