The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has killed over 0.3 million people, disrupted people’s normal lives, and severely restricted economic activities globally. In this work, a model for the next-day COVID-19 prediction in China was built based on the ensemble back-propagation neural network machine learning technique, Baidu migration index, internal travel flow index, and confirmed cases from the previous days. The 10-fold cross-validation results showed that the model performs well in estimating the next-day confirmed cases with a correlation coefficient of 0.97. To investigate the impacts of government interventions on the spread of this new coronavirus infection, the Baidu migration index and internal travel flow index multiplied by a factor of two were input into the trained machine learning model, and the results showed that the confirmed cases in the analyzed cities would increase dramatically. The correlation between the daily new confirmed cases and some meteorological factors were also analyzed, and the results revealed that these factors are not dominant in influencing the spread of this disease. Overall, the results of this work suggest that besides early diagnosis and medical treatment, a city lockdown policy is one of the most effective methods in suppressing the rapid spread of COVID-19.
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