In part 1 of this article, we outlined some of the key data points and metrics for determining if the spread of the virus is slowing down or speeding up.

Here’s what matters:

  • The rate at which new cases double is a crucial indicator of how fast or slow the virus is spreading.

  • Covid-19 like the pandemics before it, spreads via Exponential Growth. This simply means that the number of infected people is growing faster and faster.

  • Indeed, when we fit an exponential curve to more than 60 days of data, we estimated that cases in Ghana are doubling every 8 days as of this writing.

  • To put that into context: suppose yesterday the total number of cases was 1,000. Then in about a week’s time, you will reach about 2,000 cases. One more week after that and you should see 4,000 cases.

  • Within a 2 week span, the total number of cases would have jumped from 1,000 to 4,000. The previous 2 weeks before the window of time we’re considering would have shown cases going from 250 to 1,000.

  • This exponential growth rate (250 cases to 4,000 in 1 month) is what makes virus’s such as Coronavirus so deadly effective at spreading.
  • By looking at this number, we can also tell when the outbreak is slowing down. As fewer and fewer people catch the virus, the number of days it takes for cases to double will get longer.
  • Conversely if more and more people catch the virus, then expect this number to get smaller and smaller. For comparison, the peak in New York City was a doubling rate of about 3 days. Ghana will remain in a better position if we can keep the doubling rate from getting any faster.

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