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Forecast for COVID-19 cases in the UK: Updated modelling

Dr Roberto Pancrazi, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick and Research Associate at the CAGE Research Centre, is applying Richards’ phenomenological model for predicting the pattern of an outbreak to the case of the UK.

He has updated the model with new data and comments:

"In the previous briefing, I estimated the Richards’ phenological model to forecast the Covid-19 evolution in the UK and in England’s NHS regions using data up to April 8th, 2020. Since then, there have been three important sets of information that should be taken into account to predict the trajectory of the epidemic:

  • first, new data are available;
  • second, the number of tests have been increasing; and
  • third, there was quite a significant revision on how the data on both cases and tests were reported.

"Updating the modelling with this additional information to further investigate the expected trajectory of the epidemic, there are three main results:

  • first, the model confirms that the peak of new infections was reached on April 8th;
  • second, while robustly in the downward trajectory of the infection curve, currently, on April 24th, the UK is only at roughly one third of the way through the decline.
  • Finally, the end of the epidemic, defined as the date with zero new daily cases, is predicted for August 8th, conditional on the contagion not growing if/when social restrictions are relaxed."

data charts

Note: data has been updated to take into account rise in daily testing and revisions from Public Health England on how they are reporting cases. More information on how the model has been updated can be found in the full briefing (CAGE Policy Briefing no. 23).

28 April 2020

About the research

Roberto Pancrazi, Update on Estimating and Forecasting Covid-19 Evolution in the UK, CAGE Policy Briefing no.23

Roberto Pancrazi, Estimating and Forecasting Covid-19 Evolution in the UK and its Regions: a Brief Note, CAGE Policy briefing no.20


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