Visible and Real Sizes of New COVID-19 Pandemic Waves in Ukraine
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, epidemic dynamics in Ukraine, mathematical modeling of infection diseases, SIR model, Parameter identification, statistical methods
Background. To simulate the COVID-19 pandemic dynamics, various data sets and different mathematical models can be used. In particular, previous simulations for Ukraine were based on smoothing of the dependence of the number of cases on time, classical and the generalized SIR (susceptible-infected-removed) models. Different simulation and comparison methods were based on official accumulated number of laboratory confirmed cases and the data reported by Johns Hopkins University. Since both datasets are incomplete (a very large percentage of infected persons are asymptomatic), the accuracy of calculations and predictions is limited. In this paper we will try to assess the degree of data incompleteness and correct the relevant forecasts.
Objective. We aimed to estimate the real sizes of two new epidemic waves in Ukraine and compare them with visible dynamics based on the official number of laboratory confirmed cases. We also aimed to estimate the epidemic durations and final numbers of cases.
Methods. In this study we use the generalized SIR model for the epidemic dynamics and its known exact solution. The known statistical approach is adopted in order to identify both the degree of data incompleteness and parameters of SIR model.
Results. We have improved the method of estimating the unknown parameters of the generalized SIR model and calculated the optimal values of the parameters. In particular, the visibility coefficients and the optimal values of the model parameters were estimated for two pandemic waves in Ukraine occurred in December 2020–March 2021. The real number of cases and the real number of patients spreading the infection versus time were calculated. Predictions of the real final sizes and durations of the pandemic in Ukraine are presented. If current trends continue, the end of the pandemic should be expected no earlier than in August 2022.
Conclusions. New method of the unknown parameters identification for the generalized SIR model was proposed, which allows estimating the coefficients of data incompleteness as well. Its application for two pandemic waves in Ukraine has demonstrated that the real number of COVID-19 cases is approximately four times higher than those shown in official statistics. Probably, this situation is typical for other countries. The reassessments of the COVID-19 pandemic dynamics in other countries and clarification of world forecasts are necessary.
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