Prediction of a new wave of COVID-19 related to the spread of the Omicron strain to Ukraine


In the next study conducted by a joint team of scientists of the World Data Center "Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development" Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the Lev Gromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases NAMS of Ukraine, it is noted that the new wave of COVID-19, associated with the strain Omicron, is spreading rapidly around the world and moving towards the Eastern region of Europe, including Ukraine.

Given the latest data on the rapid growth of cases in Western Europe and the United States (as of December 29, 2021: Great Britain - 183,037, France - 208,099, Spain - 100,760, Italy - 98,030, USA - 465,670 cases), we can assume faster transmission of Omicron virus. At the same time, the number of daily deaths in these countries has decreased significantly (57, 184, 78, 136 and 1777 cases, respectively). This suggests that in Ukraine the next wave of COVID-19, including clinical manifestations of the disease, will be easier than the previous ones.


Analyzing the previous wave of the disease, scientists point out that the highest level of the weekly smoothed curve of new cases of COVID-19 caused by Delta-strain occurred in Ukraine on 27.10.2021-2.11.2021 and reached 23,333. In total, about 509 thousand people were ill in those days. When the level of fully vaccinated persons reached 20.2% (November 15, 2021), the incidence wave decreased, and at the end of December 2021 the average incidence per week decreased to 4.5 thousand cases per day. Currently, 31.2% of Ukrainians are fully vaccinated with 2 doses, which gives hope for a further downward trend during the winter holidays and reaching its minimum during the first decade of January 2022 at the level of 3-5 thousand new infected people per day.

At the same time, a variant of the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus, H3N2 and B influenza viruses has started circulating in Ukraine. This will affect the incidence rate in the next wave and will require differential diagnosis of COVID-19 and influenza. To test this hypothesis, a long-term forecast (100 days ahead) based on the use of a neural network of the "direct perceptron" type was performed. The results of the forecast indicate that during the second decade of January 2022, the next wave of morbidity caused by a variant of the Omicron strain may begin to increase. This wave is likely to peak in mid-February 2022 at 23,000 to 25,000 infected people per day. Its gradual decline is projected in March - April 2022. However, it should be borne in mind that the data on official morbidity and mortality will largely depend on the volume of laboratory diagnostics, and the duration of the next wave - on further vaccination and the volume of anti-epidemic measures.

Fig. 1. Prediction of the incidence of COVID-19 in Ukraine for the next 100 days using a neural network such as "direct perceptron"