Background: Numerous models have tried to predict the spread of COVID-19. Many involve myriad assumptions and parameters which cannot be reliably calculated under current conditions. We describe machine-learning and curve-fitting based models using fewer assumptions and readily available data. Methods: Instead of relying on highly parameterized models, we design and train multiple neural networks with data on a national and state level, from 9 COVID-19 affected countries, including Indian and US states and territories. Further, we use an array of curve-fitting techniques on government-reported numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths, separately projecting and collating curves from multiple regions across the globe, at multiple levels of granularity, combining heavily-localized extrapolations to create accurate national predictions. Findings: We achieve an R2 of 0.999 on average through the use of curve-fits and fine-tuned statistical learning methods on historical, global data. Using neural network implementations, we consistently predict the number of reported cases in 9 geographically- and demographically-varied countries and states with an accuracy of 99.53% for 14 days of forecast and 99.1% for 24 days of forecast. Interpretation: We have shown that curve-fitting and machine-learning methods applied on reported COVID-19 data almost perfectly reproduce the results of far more complex and data-intensive epidemiological models. Using our methods, several other parameters may be established, such as the average detection rate of COVID-19. As an example, we find that the detection rate of cases in India (even with our most lenient estimates) is 2.38% – almost a fourth of the world average of 9%.
Collection : COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv