Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Assessment of the Weekly Fluctuations of the Covid-19 Cases in Italy and Worldwide

Version 1 : Received: 10 May 2020 / Approved: 12 May 2020 / Online: 12 May 2020 (05:23:58 CEST)

How to cite: Bragato, P.L. Assessment of the Weekly Fluctuations of the Covid-19 Cases in Italy and Worldwide. Preprints 2020, 2020050202 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0202.v1). Bragato, P.L. Assessment of the Weekly Fluctuations of the Covid-19 Cases in Italy and Worldwide. Preprints 2020, 2020050202 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0202.v1).

Abstract

The time series of daily new cases of Covid-19 infection in different zones of Italy, several European countries and New York City were analyzed in order to characterize the large fluctuations contained in them. The comparison shows that the time series share a similar evolution, although with delays of one or two weeks, with Italy that precedes the other countries. Correlation analysis indicates a strict resemblance between the time series of the first differences, which emphasize accelerations and slowdowns of the epidemic (e.g., correlation coefficient r=0.70 for Italian vs. worldwide data). According to Fourier analysis the signals have a dominant oscillatory component at a period of seven days, with minima located near the weekends. Some of the possible causes of this time modulation are discussed. In particular, it is hypothesized a delayed or missed recognition of a significant fraction of the new cases during the weekend, with possible consequences for the evolution of the epidemic.

Subject Areas

Covid-19 pandemic; weekly fluctuations; delayed recognition of new cases; health system situation

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