Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Short-Term Forecast Scenario for COVID-19 Epidemic and Allocated Hospital Readiness in Egypt

Version 1 : Received: 25 April 2020 / Approved: 27 April 2020 / Online: 27 April 2020 (03:27:47 CEST)

How to cite: El-Ghitany, E. A Short-Term Forecast Scenario for COVID-19 Epidemic and Allocated Hospital Readiness in Egypt. Preprints 2020, 2020040473 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0473.v1). El-Ghitany, E. A Short-Term Forecast Scenario for COVID-19 Epidemic and Allocated Hospital Readiness in Egypt. Preprints 2020, 2020040473 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0473.v1).

Abstract

BackgroundThe novel virus COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV‑2, is currently rapidly spreading around the globe and pushing healthcare systems to the limits of their capacity. One of the functions of predictive models is to timely act for epidemic preparedness including hospital preparedness. In Egypt, like many other countries in the world, the epidemic situation and forecasting have not yet sufficiently studied. ObjectiveThe study was carried out to develop a short-term forecast scenario for the COVID-19 epidemic situation in Egypt and predict the hospital needs to accommodate the growing number of cases.MethodsSecondary data from the COVID-2019 daily reports and the report issued 8th of April by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population were used. Due to the daily changing level of knowledge and data, the article reflects the status up to 18 April 2020. The prediction was based on the exponential growth rate model. For the depiction of the situation, the full length of the epidemic timeline was analyzed (from February 14th till April 18th). The growth rates and their rates of decline during the period from the 22nd of March till the 18th of April were calculated and extrapolated in the coming 7 weeks. The predicted hospital needs were assessed against the announced allocated resources.ResultsThe epidemic curve in Egypt is on the ascending arm as of April, 18. The active cases showed exponential growth from the start of the epidemic till April, 18. At the end of this period time, the recovery rate was 23.12% and the case fatality rate (CFR) was7.39. The case fatality rate median level during the last four weeks was 6.64. The active cases are expected to reach more than 20,000 by late May then starts to decline. The allocated regular hospital beds are predicted to show shortage by the time of the release of the paper. The intensive care units (ICU) beds and ventilators are predicted to show insufficiency on May 6.Conclusions: The COVID-19 epidemic in Egypt is expected to continue on the rise for the next few weeks and expected to start to decline late in May, 2020. Our estimates should be useful in preparedness planning. Serious actions should be taken to provide ICU beds and ventilators enough for the predicted number of cases that would need them, not later than the end of April. Mitigation actions have to continue for the coming 6 weeks or until the epidemic situation is more clearly seen.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; Egypt; prediction exponential growth rate; hospital preparedness

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