COVID-19: 271 deaths over the past three days in Hungary

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Megérkeztek a legfrissebb, hétfő reggeli koronavírus fertőzés-adatok. 271 beteg vesztette életét,  21 081 ember fertőződött meg a három napos, péntek-szombat-vasárnapi időszak alatt.
orvos maszk koronavírus kórház getty stock
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The above figures may not mean much in themselves, so here's their evolution, which shows that the week-on-week change in the 7-day average of hospitalised Covid patients is growing at a diminishing rate, while the w/w change in the 7-day average of ventilated Covid patients continues to rise at an increasing rate.

For comparison we added also the corresponding figures from a year ago, which show that in weekly terms the number of hospitalised Covid patients was dropping at an ever smaller rate (and had grown for the first time, albeit only by 0.6%, on 9 February), while the w/w rise in the (7-day average) number of ventilated patients was almost as sharp, only it started a couple of days earlier, but only until 9 February when it started to subside. In a baseline scenario we should expect the w/w rise in the 7-day average of the number of ventilated Covid patients to flatten and then to start to drop relatively soon.

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Not that testing statistics are reliable and can be the basis for far-reaching conclusions, but the long(er)-term averages (and their relevant ratios) have also started to decline which is promising.

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

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While the Omicron variant of coronavirus is said to be milder than the previous strains, the number of Covid deaths accumulated since 28 August is only slightly lower than a year ago. The two periods are, of course, not fully comparable due to various factors. But we must not forget that vaccines have been available only since the end of 2020. This means that the deaths linked to the "mild" Omicron (okay, it surfaced in Hungary only in late December 2021, so many Covid deaths were actually caused by the Delta variant) are compared to a period when practically no one had immunity by vaccination, whereas currently 63% of the population had two shots and 39% three doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

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There is definitely a silver lining, though. Such as the blue are and particularly the blue curve on the chart below.

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The right-hand chart below is also promising. Note that the official reports in the first half of the week are tricky, and if you want more reliable figures you should wait until at least Wednesday or Thursday.

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

  1. the number of active cases is dropping at an accelerating rate;
  2. the number of hospitalisations keeps rising but at a diminishing rate;
  3. the rise in the number of ventilated Covid patients has subsided.

How to read this chart?
On the two charts below the 0% line is important. When the curves are under 0% there’s a decline, when they go over 0% it’s an increase.

More importantly, when a value is north of 0% but the curve descends, it means an increase at a slowing rate, rather than a decrease. If the curve is above 0% and ascending, it is an increase at an accelerating rate. When we are under 0% and the curve goes lower, it translates into an accelerating decrease, and when it goes up it marks a decelerating decrease.

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