Comparing COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU (Europe, Oct 29)

Date of article: 29 October 2020


An unique way of comparing COVID-19 in Europe

When governments or analysts want to judge the severity of a COVID-19 outbreak in a country, they usually do this by comparing the number of cases, deaths or the positivity rate between countries. Another way to compare the severity of a COVID-19 outbreak, is by monitoring how many COVID-19 patients are currently in hospital and on intensive care in various countries. In this article I will show and compare these numbers for European countries. Please note: this only includes those countries who actually publish these numbers.

Below is an update of the study I published exactly four weeks ago: Comparing COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU (Europe, Oct 1)

COVID-19 patients currently in hospital

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital per country, relative to population size. All data has been gathered from official government sources on October 29nd.

For example: United Kingdom currently has 10308 COVID-19 patients in hospital. (source). Divided by 67.5 mln inhabitants, this means there are currently 152.6 hospitalized COVID-19 patients per 1 mln inhabitants.

COVID-19 patients currently on Intensive Care

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently on Intensive Care per country, relative to population size. All data has been gathered from official government sources on October 29nd.

Note: some countries report on 'patients on mechanical ventilation', instead of 'Intensive Care'. For those countries that number is used instead.


Interpretation of the charts

  • Just like four weeks ago, the above charts again show that countries which are currently reporting a high positivity rate are also the countries which are reporting a relative high number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU and the other way around.
  • In both charts two countries stand out as the countries which currently have the highest amount of COVID-19 patients hospitalized and in ICU, relative to population:   Czechia and   Belgium.

Comparing October 1 with October 29

  • Compared to October 1, Belgium saw an increase of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital from 738 to 5924 (8 times (!) the number of Oct 1), while the number of patients in ICU multiplied by 6.3 times over the same period of time.
  • Meanwhile Czechia currently has 6.5 times as many patients in hospital and 5.2 times as many patients on ICU compared to October 1.
  • Going by the change in hospitalized patients, the countries with the relative smallest increase are   Denmark and surprisingly   Spain.
  • Summarized however, every single European country is reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital, with   Estonia being the single exception to report a decrease (1 Oct: 37 patients; 29 Oct: 34 patients).

Comparing current situation with first wave (March / April)

Although not all data is available of the March / April situation, many countries are publishing charts which still show how the current situation of patients in hospital/ICU relates to the situation back in March / April. The are different groups of countries:

  • Countries which are currently reporting (way) more COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU than back in March / April:   Czechia,   Latvia,   Portugal.
  • Countries which are currently reporting a number of hospitalized / on ICU which is nearing the numbers of March / April:   Austria,   Belgium,   Luxembourg.
  • Countries which are currently reporting around 50% of the numbers they reported during the first wave in March/April:   Switzerland,   France,   Ireland,   Netherlands,   United Kingdom.
  • Countries which are reporting only a small fraction of the number of hospitalized patients compared to the first wave:   Denmark,   Norway and   Sweden.


Charts per country (if available)

 Austria

The Austrian health agency has removed the ICU chart from its website, but instead shows the following chart which indicates the are currently way more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than during the first wave, while the number of COVID-19 patients on ICU is slightly lower.

 Belgium

The following chart shows the current number of COVID-19 confirmed patients on ICU's in Belgium. This chart indicates that the number of Belgians on ICU is now close to the peak of April 2020.

 Czechia

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital (blue line) and the number of COVID-19 patients currently on intensive care (red line) in Czechia. As can be seen in this chart, Czech Republic currently has 15(!) times more COVID-19 patients hospitalized than back in March/April.

 Denmark

Below chart shows the most recent published number of COVID-19 patients in Denmark currently in the hospital or on ICU. As can be seen below the current numbers are still very low compared to early April.

 Finland

Below chart shows the evolution of the number of COVID-19 patients currently on ICU (red line) in Finland. The current number of patients (10) has only been slowly increasing in recent weeks.

 France

The French government typically publishes its data, including their overseas departments, while we at Newsnodes have been working hard to exclude this type of data. For our calculations in this article, we have used the French government data for 'mainland France' only, which today is 20888 hospitalized and 3105 on intensive care. The following two charts which are published by France however represent the number of hospitalized patients and on ICU, including overseas territories.

 Ireland

The following charts show the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital and on ICU in Ireland.

 Luxembourg

The following chart shows both the number of patients currently on 'normal care' (blue line) and 'intensive care' (red line) in Luxembourg.

 Latvia

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital in Latvia.

 Netherlands

The following charts show the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital (blue line) and on intensive care (red line) in the Netherlands.

 Norway

Norway publishes various charts on hospital admissions per week, but also one chart about the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital, although this particular stacked bar chart also includes a breakdown to country of birth.

 Portugal

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital (blue bars) and on ICU (red line) in Portugal. As can be seen in this chart the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital is now significantly higher than during the first wave in Portugal. At the same time, the number of COVID-19 patients currently on ICU is equal to the number of ICU-patients during the first coronavirus wave.

 Sweden

Although the data in the most recent weeks is still preliminary, it does look like Sweden is not seeing any uptrend in the number of patients on ICU. The following chart shows the number of new admitted COVID-19 patients to ICU (per week). Although the data is slightly different than the "currently on ICU"-charts, the "newly admitted to ICU"-charts typically show a similar trend as the "currently on ICU" charts. Because of this, we can assume that the number of patients currently on ICU is slowly starting to uptrend in Sweden as well.

 Switzerland

Although the Swiss government does not release daily numbers of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital / ICU, they do release two charts in their weekly report. The following two charts show: 1) the newly hospitalized patients in Switzerland and 2) the ICU-capacity including the percentage of current COVID-19 patients. Both charts are showing an uptrend recently in Switzerland.

 United Kingdom

Below charts by the UK government show the evolution of number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU over time. Both charts are showing a clear uptrend.


Do you know of more European governments who publish a chart on current COVID-19 hospitalizations or ICU-patients? Share it with us by sending an e-mail or Twitter message!

article by Newsnodes








 

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