Professor Dan Nicolau
Original Published Date: 
Friday, April 24, 2020

Full article issued by The Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised by ARC-supported researchers at QUT offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia.

The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and ARC Future Fellow Professor Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a more accurate model to predict the trajectory of the virus and its mortality, based on reliable, country-independent data. 

The predictions, updated daily, are available at covidwave.org and look at the ratio of known infections to recoveries in each country. The team then compared this ratio with the number of reported daily deaths in each country.

This country-by-country breakdown also gives a big picture view, which shows that the world is currently in the middle of a second global wave of COVID-19, likely to last for some weeks. Remarkably, the data pattern is the same for most countries, including Australia.

Professor Nicolau and his colleague Alex Hasson, who is leading the data collection for the project, used their model to project an approximate final death toll in hospitals and care homes of 35,000 for the UK, 75,000 for the US but substantially less than 1,000 for Australia, most likely in the low hundreds, by the end of 2020 (barring another major wave).

Photo credit: 

Professor Dan Nicolau. Credit: QUT.