Is society beginning to adapt to COVID-19?

Scientists from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases have released the results of study of the peculiarities of the spread of COVID-19 at the turn of 2020-2021. According to them, the situation in European countries and in Ukraine after the summer stage of a certain stabilization with the onset of autumn-winter period began to become more complicated. This is due to the growth of business contacts, especially in late 2020, increased activity of the population during the Christmas holidays and in the pre-New Year period, the emergence of new species of coronavirus, which are spreading faster, particularly in the UK.

Analysis of the correlation between the number of PCR tests performed and the number of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Ukraine during September-December 2020 revealed an unregistered (hidden) number of potentially infected people. The performed modelling indicates that as of the third decade of December 2020, the estimated number of infected persons would probably fluctuate in the range of 16-20 thousand per day (instead of 8-11 thousand), provided that the number of PCR tests would be in the range of 57-74 thousand per day in accordance with average European standards.

During December 2020, the regions of Ukraine showed declining trends or at least no trends to increase the officially registered cases of COVID-19. There are signs of gradual adaptation of the population of Ukraine to the vulnerable effects of the disease. The dynamics of the coefficient of adaptation to COVID-19 in Ukraine over the last month has shown about two-fold improvement. It is estimated that the proportion of undetected patients with COVID-19 with relatively mild symptoms who recovered without special treatment could be 100% of registered individuals, halving official statistics with a relatively stable average number of new deaths per day.

Performed predictive modelling using technical analysis of time series, similarity method in mathematical modelling and two types of neural networks shows that in the first half of January 2021 the number of newly diagnosed patients is likely to fluctuate in the range of 3000-11500 people per day in the optimistic scenario, and 8800–13500 - according to the pessimistic; the number of fatalities - in the range of 80-200 per day; the number of recovered - 12000-24000 per day. The mortality rate can be maintained at 1.75–1.81% with a slight upward trend.