Covid-19 pandemic analysis for a country’s ability to control the outbreak using little’s law: Infodemiology approach

Yao Hua Ho*, Yun Juo Tai, Ling Jyh Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all countries across the globe have been trying to control its spread. A country’s ability to control the epidemic depends on how well its health system accommodates COVID-19 patients. This study aimed to assess the ability of different countries to contain the COVID-19 epidemic in real-time with the number of confirmed cases, deaths and recovered cases. Using the dataset provided by the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), we analyzed the spread of the virus from 22 January 2020 to 15 September 2020 and used Little’s Law to predict a country’s ability to control the epidemic. According to the average recovery time curve changes, 16 countries are divided into different categories—Outbreak, Under Control, Second Wave of Outbreak, and Premature Lockdown Lift. The curves of outbreak countries (i.e., U.S., Spain, Netherlands, Serbia, France, Sweden, and Belgium) showed an upward trend representing that their medical systems have been overloaded and are unable to provide effective medical services to patients. On the other hand, after the pandemic-prevention policy was applied, the average recovery time dropped in under control countries (i.e., Iceland, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore). Finally, we study the impact of interventions on the average recovery time in some of the countries. The interventions, e.g., lockdown and gathering restrictions, show the effect after 14 days, which is the same as the incubation period of COVID-19. The results show that the average recovery time (T) can be used as an indicator of the ability to control the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5628
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 2


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Infodemiological
  • Little’s Law
  • Outbreak control
  • Queuing Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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