On June 7th 2021 the the second week of the UK Crowd Forecasting Challenge ended. Here are this week’s predictions.
For the second week in a row, the number of Covid-19 infections has risen and variants like the B.1.617 strains (the ‘Indian variant’ or ‘Delta variant’) continue to be a big concern. By now the delta variant has overtaken all other variants and is now the biggest driver of infections (see this UK government report)
Participants in the UK Crowd Forecasting Challenge took this rise seriously and on average predicted a further increase over the next four weeks until July 3rd 2021. Even a very large increase is within the range of what forecasters on average expect might happen.
Here is a visualisation of the combined prediction of weekly case numbers that show the central estimate and 50% and 90% prediction intervals (the 50% and 90% prediction intervals are the ranges of values of which forecasters believe they will cover the true observed value with 50% and 90% probability)
The average crowd forecast is close to the average forecast of all model based predictions submitted to the European Forecast Hub by various research groups, even though the crowd prediction is a bit more pessimistic.
This is the Forecast Hub ensemble prediction (ensemble in green, crowd forecast in red):
The crowd prediction shown here is of course an average that doesn’t show the full range of different predictions. You can see all individual forecasts here.
Here is the combined crowd forecast of deaths from Covid-19 over the next 4 weeks:
On average, participants predicted a rise in deaths resulting from Covid-19, albeit less steep than the rise in cases. This suggests that confidence in the efficacy of vaccines (how well they work) against severe disease is high - even with new variants of concern spreading.
The UK Crowd Forecasting Challenge has just started and you can still join! You don’t need to know anything about modelling to take part. To get started, have a look at this post that gives an overview of all you need to know.
If you have any questions, just send us an email at epiforecasts [at] gmail.com