Summary

Up to February 16, 2020, 355 cases have been confirmed as having COVID-19 infection on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. It is of crucial importance to estimate the reproductive number (R0) of the novel virus in the early stage of the outbreak and make a prediction of daily new cases on the ship. Method: We fitted the reported serial interval (mean and standard deviation) with a gamma distribution and applied “earlyR” package in R to estimate the R0 in the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. We applied “projections” package in R to simulate the plausible cumulative epidemic trajectories and future daily incidence by fitting the data of existing daily incidence, a serial interval distribution, and the estimated R0 into a model based on the assumption that daily incidence obeys approximately Poisson distribution determined by daily infectiousness.