An ARIMA model to forecast the spread of COVID-2019 epidemic in Italy

04/01/2020
by   Gaetano Perone, et al.
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Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) is a severe ongoing novel pandemic that is spreading quickly across the world. Italy, that is widely considered one of the main epicenters of the pandemic, registers the highest COVID-2019 death rates and death toll in the world, to the present day. In this article I estimate an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to forecast the epidemic trend over the period after March 30, 2020, by using the Italian epidemiological data at national and regional level. The data refer to the number of daily confirmed cases officially registered by the Italian Ministry of Health (www.salute.gov.it) for the period February 20 to March 30, 2020. The main advantage of this model is that it is easy to manage and fit. Moreover, it may give a first understanding of the basic trends, by suggesting the hypothetic epidemic's inflection point. Obviously, data need a continuous updating to better explain what is going on.

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