How many Hungarians could die of coronavirus-related diseases three weeks from now?

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It is extremely difficult to come up with accurate estimates, particularly for the longer term, as to where the coronavirus pandemic is headed. There are all kinds of experts, researchers, mathematicians, virologists, biologists, etc. that do that but most of them have a cornucopia of data to go by. Some models are better, some are worse, some are downright unusable. In Hungary, the depth, composition,general quality and availability of COVID-19 statistics are poor. Let us show you an exceedingly simple, yet shocking way to forecast how many people could possibly die of coronavirus-related diseases in the near future in Hungary (officially that is).
virágcsokor temetés

It is a generally accepted and proven fact worldwide that the number of COVID-19 fatalities tracks changes in the number of daily new confirmed cases with a cc. 20-day delay.

23 Nov vs. 3 Nov:

Hungarian authorities diagnosed 12,637 people with SARS-CoV-2 and had 176 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday (23 November).

20 days earlier, on 3 November, Hungary had 6,268 new cases and 107 deaths.

  • 12,637 new cases, 176 deaths vs.6,268 new cases, 107 deaths
  • 12,637 / 6,268 = 2.02
  • 176 x 2.02 = 355

Based on these figures, Hungarian authorities (koronavirus.gov.hu) are expected to report 355 Covid deaths 20 days from now, i.e. on 14 December (Tuesday).

Let’s go back one day, shall we?

22 Nov vs. 2 Nov:

  • 6,518 new cases, 171 deaths vs. 2,595 new cases, 74 deaths
  • 6,518 / 2,595 = 2.51
  • 171 x 2.51 = 430

This means that based on these figures, Hungarian authorities (in this case koronavirus.gov.hu) is expected to report 430 Covid deaths 20 days from yesterday, i.e. on 13 December (Monday). Some adjustment would be needed then because authorities do not publish Covid reports on weekends.

Using the same model, but with 7-day averages

  • 23 Nov = 7,445 new cases, 144 deaths --- 3 Nov = 3,712 new cases, 58 deaths
  • 7,445 / 3,712 = 2.63
  • 144 x 2.63 = 378

Based on these figures, the 7-day average of Covid deaths 20 days from now, i.e. on 14 December will be 378 vs. 144 currently.

Let’s go back one day with the 7-day averages, shall we?

  • 22 Nov = 7,445 new cases, 144 deaths --- 2 Nov = 3,712 new cases, 58 deaths
  • 9,435 / 3,393 = 2.78
  • 144 x 2.78 = 400

Based on these figures, the 7-day average of Covid deaths 20 days from yesterday, i.e. on 13 December will be 400 vs. 144 on 22 Nov.

The 7-day average of Covid fatalities on 3 November was 58, which compares with 144 currently. So, to make sure this is not just hypothetical, let's work with actual numbers here.

144 / 58 = 2.48 --- What multipliers have we used above? 2.02; 2.51; 2.63; 2.78. Can they be correct? Unfortunately, very much so.

The lack of strict lockdown measures, the positivity rate (particularly the 3-day, and 21-day averages, as well as their ratio and the 7-day average of the 3-d / 21-d ratio) paint a forlorn future.

The vaccination rate is stuck around 60%. The one-week vaccination campaign where Hungarians just need to show up (without prior registration or booking an appointment in advance) to get their jabs (1st, 2nd or 3rd doses) can be a huge success but it will not alter the trajectory of the current ‘wave’. And let’s not forget that Hungary has the highest reproduction rate in the region.

(Thanks for the idea, and a speedy recovery to Balázs Pártos.)

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Cover photo: Getty Images

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