Background: Coronavirus, the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (COVID-19), is rapidly spreading around the world. Since the number of corona positive patients is increasing sharply in Iran, this study aimed to forecast the number of newly infected patients in the coming days in Iran.
Methods: The data used in this study were obtained from daily reports of the Iranian Ministry of Health and the datasets provided by the Johns Hopkins University including the number of new infected cases from February 19, 2020 to March 21, 2020. The autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was applied to predict the number of patients during the next thirty days.
Results: The ARIMA model forecasted an exponential increase in the number of newly detected patients. The result of this study also show that if the spreading pattern continues the same as before, the number of daily new cases would be 3574 by April 20.
Conclusion: Since this disease is highly contagious, health politicians need to make decisions to prevent its spread; otherwise, even the most advanced and capable health care systems would face problems for treating all infected patients and a substantial number of deaths will become inevitable.