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Covid-19 - 28 March 2020

Mar 28, 2020

OK for those who asked...stats update and forecast on COVID-UK...with lots of disclaimers...

Summary: 1. Brace for many thousands of UK deaths to overshadow us very very soon, maybe 10,000+ before end April. 2. Keep looking for the growth rate in 'Daily New Cases' to slow down by early/mid-April, for hope and for signs that lockdown or another factor is working. Lockdown works - then we plan again. 3. Don't fan social unrest - we need to keep working together as a society to beat this thing.

More detail: A week into lockdown...Fatalities per day was 260 yesterday and the trend is still doubling every 3-4 days, which is going to look horrible in three weeks before the good effect of lockdown shows on this figure when it might peak well into four or even five figures (yes four figures means 1000+ in a day; five figures means 10,000+ UK deaths in a day). Brace for that during April, and the huge overwhelm of NHS and the (late-recognition) social reaction to this. Compare with Winter and normal Flu that has killed 50 people per day in UK over the last decade (17k pa average) with no lockdown, and it shows just how fast and contagious this new virus is.

FYI, 1600 people per day die in UK normally, of all causes, just to put this all into perspective. But lockdown will work and the number will eventually come down for a number of reasons. Our key statistic to watch for, in predicting when a controlled de-lock can occur is currently 'Daily New Cases' (assuming testing regimes stay as now, which they will for a short period, at Moderate or Severe). It's not a great stat to follow but the best we have at present given poor early and broad testing. 'Daily New Cases' was 1,109 yesterday and still currently also doubling every 3-4 days. This will continue for a further week or two to maybe 4,000 per day (ugh) until the 'avoided-infections-to-testing' period of about 2 weeks starts to slow the growth rate in this figure at about 10 April (not the 'number' of Daily New Cases, we just look for a reduction in the 'growth rate' initlally), then stay constant, then fall, before any controlled de-lock can be considered in May/June (controlled de-lock considered then, not necessarily activated). Expect a 3-4-week delay from now (18-25 April) from lockdown to initial effect on daily fatalities, which will show horrible thousands of numbers by then. But then we start to gain a little control of it, not the other way we have rapid human learning, tech, nature may help, and bio learning coming with time. So good luck all, and keep working together through this difficult period.

This forecast could be significantly out, but is my best current estimate (see my previous updates).

Comments: Sensible and informed/helpful comments only please. Actuaries especially welcome to help continue to improve the modelling. By all means Private Message me if you have a question.

Category: Covid-19