A new forecast this week goes against the conventional wisdom that many countries are facing a long, painful recovery from COVID-19.
The forecast from Michael Levitt, a Stanford biophysicist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013, focuses on the number of new cases identified each day and the rate of growth or decline of that metric.
In early February, Levitt correctly predicted the drop off in new cases that China has now seen. Now, his analysis turns to the U.S. and other countries.
From the LA Times:
He analyzed data from 78 countries that reported more than 50 new cases of COVID-19 every day and sees “signs of recovery” in many of them. He’s not focusing on the total number of cases in a country, but on the number of new cases identified every day — and, especially, on the change in that number from one day to the next.
“Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth.”
In South Korea, for example, newly confirmed cases are being added to the country’s total each day, but the daily tally has dropped in recent weeks, remaining below 200. That suggests the outbreak there may be winding down.
In Iran, the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases per day remained relatively flat last week, going from 1,053 last Monday to 1,028 on Sunday. Although that’s still a lot of new cases, Levitt said, the pattern suggests the outbreak there “is past the halfway mark.”
Italy, on the other hand, looks like it’s still on the upswing. In that country, the number of newly confirmed cases increased on most days this past week.