COVID numbers at a crucial stage says mathematician

“Today’s number of 34 new cases is not the best one would have hoped for, and we are now at a crucial stage”. This was the dire warning issued by Prof Josef Lauri in his assessment of the trends the COVID second wave is following in Malta. Prof Lauri, a mathematician by profession has been keeping updated with the trends shown by the statistics published by the government. Through these statistics. Prof Lauri can predict the trends which the pandemic will be taking.

“As can be seen from the epicurve, if this is to behave as past experience has indicated, the next few numbers from tomorrow or the day after would now have to take again a downward turn”, said Prof Lauri, indicating that any optimism on COVI taking a definite drastic downward trend was quite premature. “This would be repeating the pattern of successive lower spikes, and the trend taken by the epicurve would again be as one would expect if the effects of the epidemic are slowing down,” continued the mathematician. 

Epicurve showing an upward trend in COVID cases

On the other hand, Prof Lauri said that the forecast from the times series with a two-day moving average is optimistic: “…a forecast of 24 for tomorrow but with a wide uncertainty of a 95% prediction interval between 9 and 39! So, although today’s figures could have been more comforting, we might still be heading, gradually, towards better days,” concluded Prof Lauri.

Time series chart showing a rise and predicted levelling in COVID cases