Number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Hungary up by a quarter from a week ago

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Of the nearly 113,000 samples Hungarian authorities tested on Friday, Saturday and Sunday 33,716 were positive, which marks a 25% drop from a week ago. The declining number of new cases is yet to be followed by diminishing hospitalisation and death figures but the former is not expected for one more week at least and the latter for about three weeks. The number of people hospitalised with coronavirus infection went up 26% from last Sunday.
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We need to take the Monday reports with a pinch of salt, but the week-on-week change in the 7-day average of Covid patients in hospital shows a diminishing growth, while we see the opposite in the w/w change in the 7-day average of Covid patients on ventilator.

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The slackening decrease (and subsequent rise) in the number of ventilated Covid patients started a few days earlier in 2021 than this year, but the weekly change in the number of hospitalised coronavirus patients never showed an increase even though the drop did start to moderate on 26 January 2021.

To see the differences more clearly we have created separate charts for 2022 and 2021.

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Testing, testing...

Short-term average positivity rates, including the 7-day average, started to drop, while long-term averages rose slightly further.

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More importantly, the 7-day / 28-day average and its 7-day average continued to fall.

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Back to hospitals...

The 3-day average of hospitalised Covid patients and those on ventilator rose further.

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As regards the number of ventilated patients per those in hospital, the 7-day average has been dropping since end-December (13.5%) and is currently as low as 5.1%.

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The downturn at the top of the green curve on the left-hand chart below is promising and suggests that in terms of COVID-19 cases the fifth wave could have peaked, but it will take some time before hospitalisation, ventilation, and death figures start reflecting this.

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The left-hand chart below shows what happened a year ago. The time series spans between 1 Nov 2020 and 28 Feb 2021, and the same dates in 2021 and 2022 are indicated by the red ovals. The black oval shows when the turnaround this year occurred.

What do the curves tell us? Based on 7-day averages,

  1. the rise in the number of active cases continues at a diminishing rate (it has actually come to 0%);
  2. the number of hospitalisations is doing the same (keeps rising but to an ever smaller extent);
  3. the accelerating rise in the number of ventilated Covid patients turned around and the increase is now slower.

Note that Monday statistics are relatively unreliable and we need more readings to see where this is going. On Friday, we expected the blue line to turn around within a week, but let's wait a few more days to see whether this reversal is permanent or not.

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About Covid deaths...

Nearly 42,000 people have died of coronavirus-related diseases since the outbreak in the spring of 2020. That is the official figure. The actual number is way higher.

The aggregate figure of Covid deaths between 1 August and 6 February is slightly lower in 2021/22 (11,948) than in 2020/21 (12,493). For a monthly breakdown of Covid deaths click here.

Note that excess mortality statistics (released by the Central Statistical Office, KSH) paint a more accurate picture of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic than the numbers published by the coronavirus task force, but due to constant revisions the final (or close to final) mortality data will not be available for the period under review at least until late March.

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Vaccination

We'll write about the results of the vaccination campaign (started in January and maintained in February) in a separate article. But until then here are a couple of charts showing Hungarians' willingness to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.

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