Mathematical modeling and forecasting of COVID-19: experience in Santiago de Cuba province

E. E. Ramirez-Torres, A. R. Selva Castañeda, Y. Rodríguez-Aldana, S. Sánchez Domínguez, L. E. Valdés García, A. Palú-Orozco, E.R. Oliveros-Domínguez, L. Zamora-Matamoros, R. Labrada-Claro, M. Cobas-Batista, D. Sedal-Yanes, O. Soler-Nariño, P. A. Valdés-Sosa, J. I. Montijano, L. E. Bergues Cabrales


In the province of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, the COVID-19 epidemic has a limited progression that shows an early small-number peak of infections. Most published mathematical models fit data with high numbers of confirmed cases. In contrast, small numbers of cases make it difficult to predict the course of the epidemic. We present two known models adapted to capture the noisy dynamics of COVID-19 in the Santiago de Cuba province. Parameters of both models were estimated using the approximate-Bayesian-computation framework with dedicated error laws. One parameter of each model was updated on key dates of travel restrictions. Both models approximately predicted the infection peak and the end of the COVID-19 epidemic in Santiago de Cuba. The first model predicted 57 reported cases and 16 unreported cases. Additionally, it estimated six initially exposed persons. The second model forecasted 51 confirmed cases at the end of the epidemic. In conclusion, an opportune epidemiological investigation, along with the low number of initially exposed individuals, might partly explain the favorable evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic in Santiago de Cuba. With the available data, the simplest model predicted the epidemic evolution with greater precision, and the more complex model helped to explain the epidemic phenomenology.


COVID-19 epidemic, mathematical modelling, approximate Bayesian computation, Poisson noise

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