Comparing COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU (Europe, Dec 10)

Date of article: 10 December 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, as of December 10th. Please note: this only includes those countries who actually publish these numbers.

I published this study three times 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 December 10th.

For example: United Kingdom currently has 15242 COVID-19 patients in hospital. (source). Divided by 67.5 mln inhabitants, this means there are currently 225.7 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 December 10th.

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

  • One of the first things to check in the above charts is how it compares to previous charts. Have a look at the 1 October chart of Hospitalized patients per capita and see how Spain looked incredibly high with 225 hospitalized per 1 mln inhabitants, two months ago. Today, however, a country having 225 coronavirus patients in hospital would be among the countries with the fewest coronavirus hospitalizations..
  • Also it's again worth noting how well the ICU charts coincide with the positivity rate data. As the testing positivity rate dropped in Belgium and Czechia, so did the number of ICU-patients drop in both countries in recent weeks.
  • The two countries which currently have the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are Bulgaria and Serbia, and these also happen to be the countries of which Newsnodes is reporting the highest positivity rates; see our Newsnodes testing monitor.
  • The countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU are once again the countries in Northern Europe (notably Norway, Finland, Denmark).


Current trends (comparing with November 12th)

  • In general, in many European countries the trend of increasing number of coronavirus patients in hospital and ICU has stopped. About half of the European countries are now reporting a lower number of coronavirus patients in hospital and on ICU than four weeks ago.
  • Two countries which stand out in a negative way are Serbia and Estonia, as these are the countries who saw the biggest increase in hospitalized patients. In Serbia, the number of ICU-patients more than doubled (+114%) while the number of hospitalized multiplied by 2.5 (+157%). Estonia saw the number of hospitalized almost quadruple (+274%), while the number of patients on ICU increased with +167%.
  • Looking to the countries which saw the biggest decrease of coronavirus patients in hospital, four countries stand out:
  1. Belgium -59%
  2. Iceland -49%
  3. Czechia -43%
  4. Spain -42%
  • At the same time, the countries which reported the biggest decrease in coronavirus patients on ICU over the past four weeks in Europe are:
  1. Belgium -53%
  2. Czechia -51%
  3. France -39%
  4. Spain -31%


Charts per country (if available)


Austria

The Austrian health agency currently shows the following charts on its official tracker which indicate that the 'second wave' has been way stronger than the first wave as COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU are far higher now than during the first wave peak in Austria.

Belgium

The following chart shows the current number of COVID-19 confirmed patients on ICU's in Belgium. This chart indicates that the second wave had a very high peak, the number of patients on ICU has been quickly decreasing in recent weeks.

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. Similar to Belgium, Czech Republic had very high numbers of COVID-19 patients hospitalized, but the numbers are decreasing quickly now.

Finland

The following chart shows the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients ('Vuodeosasto') and ICU-patients ('Tehohoito') in Finland. As can be seen in below chart, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients is now higher than during the first wave, while the number of ICU-patients has not yet reached the first wave 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 25045 hospitalized and 2937 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. Ireland was one of the quickest countries to stop the second wave, however the decrease in number of hospitalized and ICU-patients is going slower than during the first wave.

Latvia

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital in Latvia. Latvia did quite good during the first wave, but right now the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients is 14(!) times higher than during the peak in April.

Luxembourg

The following chart shows both the number of patients currently on 'normal care' (blue line) and 'intensive care' (red line) in Luxembourg. Surprisingly, Luxembourg which has been the world's leading country, doing most tests per capita, currently has more ICU-patients than during the first wave peak.

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. After a November-drop in patients in hospital and on ICU, the decrease has now stalled.

COVID-19 patients in hospital, the Netherlands (since June 1st)

COVID-19 patients in ICU, the Netherlands (since June 1st)

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. As can be seen in below chart, the increase in the number of ICU-patients in Sweden has been slowing down lately. The current numbers are still far from the peak values of April/May.

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 chart shows the ICU-capacity including the percentage of current COVID-19 patients. This chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients on ICU is slowly decreasing but still higher than during the first wave peak.

United Kingdom

Below charts by the UK government show the evolution of number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU over time. As can be seen in the first and second chart, the number of COVID-19 patients has stopped increasing and have slowly started decreasing. However, it is worth noting (see 3rd chart) that when breaking down the data, it shows Wales has not seen a decrease like the other parts of the United Kingdom.


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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