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Brazilian Journal of Physics ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1474158


We apply a generalized logistic growth model, with time-dependent parameters, to describe the fatality curves of the COVID-19 disease for several countries that exhibit multiple waves of infections. In the case of two waves only, the model parameters vary as a function of time according to a logistic function, whose two extreme values, i.e., for early and late times, characterize the first and second waves, respectively. For the multiple-wave model, the time-dependency of the parameters is likewise described by a multi-step logistic function with N intermediate plateaus, representing the N waves of the epidemic. We show that the theoretical curves are in excellent agreement with the empirical data for all countries considered here, namely: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, and the USA. The model also allows for predictions about the time of occurrence and severity of the subsequent waves. It is shown furthermore that the subsequent waves of COVID-19 can be generically classified into two main types, namely, standard and anomalous waves, according as to whether a given wave starts well after or well before the preceding one has subsided, respectively. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Sociedade Brasileira de Física.

Frontiers in Physics ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1186859


The response of the scientific community to the global health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has produced an unprecedented number of manuscripts in a short period of time, the vast majority of which have been shared in the form of preprints posted on online preprint repositories before peer review. This surge in preprint publications has in itself attracted considerable attention, although mostly in the bibliometrics literature. In the present study we apply a mathematical growth model, known as the generalized Richards model, to describe the time evolution of the cumulative number of COVID-19 related preprints. This mathematical approach allows us to infer several important aspects concerning the underlying growth dynamics, such as its current stage and its possible evolution in the near future. We also analyze the rank-frequency distribution of preprints servers, ordered by the number of COVID-19 preprints they host, and find that it follows a power law in the low rank (high frequency) region, with the high rank (low frequency) tail being better described by a q-exponential function. The Zipf-like law in the high frequency regime indicates the presence of a cumulative advantage effect, whereby servers that already have more preprints receive more submissions. © Copyright © 2021 Vasconcelos, Cordeiro, Duarte-Filho and Brum.