Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Forecasting the Incidence of COVID-19 in Pakistan
Publication Year : 2020

The outbreak of global pandemic COVID-19 has also hit Pakistan and critically exposed vulnerable segments of the population to significant economic and health shocks. Objective of this note is to apply basic Susceptible, Infected and Recovered (SIR) epidemiological model and forecast the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan1. Based on the observed patterns of the pandemic spread and the policy response in Pakistan, we estimate that if interacted with the infected persons, the probability of the susceptible getting infected from that interaction is around 60%. Reproductive rate, i.e. the expected number of new infections from a single infection is around 4. Lastly, for the period of 180 days starting from February 2020 when the first case of corona positive was reported in Pakistan, we predict that the incidence of COVID-19 will gain its peak around fourth week of May, 2020. Thereafter the incidence of the pandemic starts declining. Our findings warrant further extension in social distancing and lockdown policy of the government in order to flatten the curve in the predicted time period and restrict the incidence of COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.