Comparing COVID-19 patients in hospital and ICU (Europe, Mar 4)

Date of article: 4 March 2021

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 March 4th. Please note: this only includes those countries who actually publish these numbers.

Previous updates can be found 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 only.

For example: United Kingdom currently has 12136 COVID-19 patients in hospital. (source). Divided by 67.5 mln inhabitants, this means there are currently 179.7 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 only.

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

  • Both charts above indicate that the same four European countries are the ones being hit the hardest by coronavirus at the moment. The four countries are: Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
  • Especially Czechia stands out: the country had already been among the hardest hit European countries in November and January and for some reason they are reporting now the highest ratio of COVID-19 intensive care patients per capita (160 on ICU per million in habitants), we have ever reported for any country.
  • The countries with the lowest number of patients on intensive care are exactly the same four as on February 4th: Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Although it must be noted that Finland saw a significant increase in recent weeks.


Current trends (comparing with February 4th)

  • In general, compared to four weeks ago, half of the European countries reduced the number of coronavirus patients in hospital and on ICU, while the other half saw an increase in these numbers.
  • The countries which reported a decrease in COVID-19 patients on ICU over the past four weeks were:
  1. Denmark -65%
  2. United Kingdom -55%
  3. Portugal -54%
  4. Slovenia -48%
  5. Spain -46%
  6. Switzerland -35%
  7. Germany -33%
  8. Ireland -23%
  9. Latvia -20%
  10. Norway -19%
  11. Netherlands -11%
  12. Sweden -4%
  • The countries which reported an increase in COVID-19 patients on ICU over the same period of time were:
  1. Luxembourg +83%
  2. Greece +80%
  3. Czechia +73%
  4. Finland +70%
  5. Estonia +61%
  6. Bulgaria +50%
  7. Belgium +41%
  8. Hungary +32%
  9. Slovakia +26%
  10. Serbia +25%
  11. Poland +24%
  12. Italy +15%
  13. France +9%
  14. Romania +9%
  15. Austria +1%
  • Looking to the trends in the number of hospitalized patients, we'll see the following countries which reported the biggest drop in COVID-19 patients in hospital over the past four weeks were:
  1. Portugal -74%
  2. Spain -65%
  3. Ireland -65%
  4. United Kingdom -62%
  5. Denmark -51%
  6. Slovenia -48%
  7. Iceland -46%
  8. Latvia -23%
  9. Sweden -14%
  10. Austria -13%
  • Finally, the countries which reported the biggest increase in COVID-19 patients in hospital over the same period of time were:
  1. Finland +133%
  2. Luxembourg +87%
  3. Bulgaria +72%
  4. Czechia +42%
  5. Estonia +37%
  6. Poland +24%
  7. Romania +17%
  8. Slovakia +14%
  9. Belgium +7%
  10. Serbia +3%


Charts per country (if available)

Austria

The Austrian health agency (AGES) currently shows the following charts on its official tracker which indicate that the number of hospitalized patients in Austria has stopped decreasing the last two weeks, with the number of COVID-19 patients on ICU already on the rise again.

Belgium

The following chart shows the current number of COVID-19 confirmed patients on ICU's in Belgium. Like Austria, Belgium has also been reporting an increasing number of coronavirus patients on ICU last week.


Czechia

The chart below 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. The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in Czechia is just above the peak level of November, while the number of COVID-19 patients on ICU has surpassed the November peak (1200) by a great distance (1700+ now).

Denmark

The chart below by the Danish National Health Institute shows the number of coronavirus patients in hospital and on ICU has been steadily decreasing since December 2020.

Finland

The following chart shows the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients ('Vuodeosasto') and ICU-patients ('Tehohoito') in Finland. As mentioned above and as can be seen below, Finland is showing a very strong increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients over the last four 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 24560 hospitalized and 3530 on intensive care. The two charts below visualize the number of hospitalized patients and on ICU (incl. overseas territories). Interestingly, in France the number of hospitalized patients has slightly decreased, while the number of coronavirus patients on ICU has slightly increased.


Germany

The chart below, published by RKI, shows the number coronavirus patients on intensive care in Germany over time. Germany reached the peak of 5762 patients on intensive care in early January, but saw a steady decrease of COVID-19 patients on ICU since.

Ireland

The following charts show the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital and on ICU in Ireland. Both charts indicate that Ireland peaked in mid January and continues to report lower numbers of hospitalized COVID patients.

Latvia

The chart below shows the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospital in Latvia, both in moderate and in severe condition. Latvia seems to have peaked in early January, and the number of coronavirus-patients in Latvia continues to go down slowly.

Luxembourg

The following chart shows both the number of patients currently on 'normal care' (blue line) and 'intensive care' (red line) in Luxembourg. In February, Luxembourg has started to report higher numbers of COVID-19 patients on hospital and on ICU again.

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. The Netherlands reported a slow but steady decrease since early January, but the downtrend has halted last two weeks.

Norway

Although Norway does not publish charts of the number of patients currently in hospital and on ICU, it does publish the follow chart showing the number of newly admitted coronavirus patients in hospital and on ICU per week. It shows that although the first wave (Mar/Apr 2020) was the most intense, the second wave has been going on for much longer in Norway.

Portugal

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital (blue bars) and on ICU (red line) in Portugal. As predicted four weeks ago, Portugal was about to start a downtrend in COVID-19 hospitalized patients and so it did! In fact, Portugal reported the biggest drop in hospitalized patients (-74%) in Europe, compared to four weeks ago.

Spain

The following chart shows the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital (blue line) and on ICU (red line) in Spain. Like Portugal, we predicted a simultaneous downtrend for Spain and so it happened! As of March 4th Spain has 10200 currently hospitalized, which is the lowest number in 5 months (Oct 12, 10109 patients hospitalized).


Sweden

Below chart is published by the Swedish ICU-register society and shows the number of coronavirus patients currently on ICU. After a solid decrease in COVID-19 patients on ICU in January, the downtrend came to a halt in February, with a small increase in ICU-patients since mid February.

Switzerland

The Swiss federal government releases information on COVID-19 patients currently on ICU in its weekly coronavirus-report. The following chart shows the ICU-capacity including the percentage of current COVID-19 patients. Ever since December, the number of COVID-19 patients on ICU has continued to decrease.

United Kingdom

Below charts by the UK government show the evolution of number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ICU over time. The latest charts show that the United Kingdom has been able to contain the UK strain succesfully so far and there is no sign yet of this downtrend coming to a halt.


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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