Trend Analysis, Modelling and Impact Assessment of COVID-19 in Nepal
With the continued global expansion of COVID-19 transmission and the mounting threat of the disease, the timely analysis of its trend in Nepal and forecasting the potential situation in the country has been deemed necessary. We analyzed the trend, modelling, and impact assessment of COVID-19 cases of Nepal from 23rd January 2020 to 30th April 2020 to portray the scenario of COVID-19 during the first phase of lockdown. Exponential smoothing state-space and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models were constructed to forecast the cases. Susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) model was fit to estimate the basic reproduction number (Ro) of COVID-19 in Nepal. There has been an increase in the number of cases but the overall growth in COVID-19 was not high. Statistical modelling has shown that COVID-19 cases may continue to increase exponentially in Nepal. The basic reproduction number in Nepal being maintained at a low level of 1.08 for the period of 23rd January to 30th April 2020 is an indication of the effectiveness of lockdown in containing the COVID-19 spread. The models further suggest that COVID-19 might persist until December 2020 with peak cases in August 2020. On the other hand, a basic reproduction number of 1.25 was computed for total cases reported for the 22nd March to 30th April 2020 period implying that COVID-19 may remain for at least a year in the country. Thus, maintaining social distance and stay home policy with an implementation of strict lockdown in the COVID-19 affected district is highly recommended.
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