Comparing COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU (Europe, Nov 12)

Date of article: 12 November 2020


A 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.

I published this study twice before; see previous updates here: 


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 November 12th.

For example: United Kingdom currently has 14030 COVID-19 patients in hospital. (source). Divided by 67.5 mln inhabitants, this means there are currently 207.9 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 November 12th.

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 in the previous updates, again the above charts show a high correlation between the positivity rate (average, last 7 days) and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital. The correlation with the hospitalized chart is especially striking: the top 7 countries with the highest testing positivity rate (for which data on hospitalized are published) are the exact same 7 countries as the top 7 countries with most coronavirus patients currently hospitalized!

The countries in Northern Europe (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia) are just like two weeks ago the countries with the lowest number of hospitalized coronavirus patients per 1 million inhabitants. The one exception being Sweden, which is recently reporting an accelerated growth of coronavirus patients on intensive care.


Current trends (October 29 comparison)

  • Over the past 2 weeks, the highest growth in COVID-19 patients is reported by Serbia for both hospitalized patients (+230%) and patients on ICU (+243%).
  • Runner-up is Sweden. Although we don't have the number of coronavirus patients currently in hospital, the number of coronavirus patients on ICU has grown with +139% in 14 days.
  • Other countries which are reporting a strong increase in hospitalized coronavirus patients are Austria (+125%), Hungary (+101%), Estonia (+100%), Bulgaria (+93%), Italy (+87%) and Latvia (+83%).
  • The countries currently showing the best trends however are Ireland (-13.6% hospitalized, -11.6% on ICU), the Netherlands (-12.3% hospitalized, +7.6% on ICU) and Iceland (+1.6% hospitalized).
  • Belgium, deserves a special mention as the country with the highest growth in hospitalized cases in October. However, looking to the first two weeks in November, things are starting to stabilize in Belgium: the country reported a relatively small increase in hospitalized patients (+25%) and a slightly higher increase in patients on ICU (+42%).


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. See the charts below to know how countries are doing compared to the first wave. Countries of which we know that they are currently reporting more hospitalized COVID-19 patients than during the first wave are:

  • Czechia, Latvia, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.


Charts per country (if available)

Austria

The Austrian health agency currently shows the following charts on its official tracker which indicate that there are currently way more hospitalized COVID-19 patients and significantly more patients on ICU than during the first wave in Austria.


Belgium

The following chart shows the current number of COVID-19 confirmed patients on ICU's in Belgium. This chart indicates that there are currently more Belgians on ICU than during 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 18(!) times more COVID-19 patients hospitalized than then previous record back in March/April.


Estonia

The blue line in the below chart shows the number of COVID-patients currently in hospital. The number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital is 50% of the April peak.


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 32358 hospitalized and 4847 on intensive care. The two charts below, which are published by France, however visualize the number of hospitalized patients and on ICU, including overseas territories.

COVID-19 patients in hospital, France

COVID-19 patients on ICU, France


Ireland

The following charts show the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital and on ICU in Ireland. As mentioned in the main observations, Ireland is only one of two European countries which now has fewer COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU compared to 14 days ago.


Latvia

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital in Latvia. Latvia currently has more than 6 times more coronavirus patients in hospital than during the first wave.


Luxembourg

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


Netherlands

The following charts show the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital (first chart) and on intensive care (second chart) in the Netherlands. Together with Ireland, the Netherlands is the only European country which currently has fewer patients in hospital and on ICU than 14 days ago.


Norway

Norway publishes various charts on hospital admissions per week, but also one chart about the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital. 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 and on ICU is now significantly higher than during the first wave in Portugal.


Sweden

Below chart is published by the Swedish ICU-register society and shows the number of coronavirus patients currently on ICU. Over the past 14 days, Sweden saw an increase in ICU-patients of +139%, one of the highest increases in Europe.


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 that the number of patients currently in hospital and on ICU in Switzerland is likely similar to those numbers during the first wave.


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, although the growth pace seems to be slowing down.


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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