COVID-19: All key data point to accelerating spread of coronavirus in Hungary

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Hungarian authorities diagnosed 13,765 people with SARS-CoV-2 infection over the past week, a 21% week-on-week increase after a 7% decline. 73 people died of coronavirus-related diseases over the past seven days, versus 46 a week earlier (+59%). There are 1,752 people with COVID-19 in hospital, a growth of 50% w/w, with 32 of them on ventilator, 78% more than a week ago. It looks like coronavirus is spreading in Hungary at an accelerating rate, but next week's dataset might easily show the opposite. The local Covid authority is not exactly world famous of its transparency and reliability.
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The table below includes the number of new COVID-19 infections, coronavirus-related deaths, and the number of infected people in hospital and on ventilator for the week up to 27 September, as well as the week-on-week changes for the past four weeks. The closer the colour of the cell is to green, the greater the w/w decline / smaller the w/w growth is (good), while the closer the colour of the cell is to red, the bigger the w/w growth / smaller the w/w drop is (bad).

As you can see, all key stats show growth from last week, while number of new cases and fatalities dropped w/w last week. The rise in the number of people with Covid in hospital and on ventilator was higher than a week ago.

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In any case, here are a few charts about the key indicators:
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When interpreting the data on the graphs note that the 16 August report contained apparently false data which did not fit into the trend at all.

Weekly changes

It's worth putting the weekly changes side by side. Note that the reliability of the data is extremely low, but these are the figures we have to work with. Apart from the mid-August fluke the data are consistent.

On the left-hand graph you can see that there is a correlation between the number of new cases, hospital admissions, Covid patients on ventilator and coronavirus-related deaths. For instance, when the number of hospitalisations rose sharply (early July, late July) fatalities also showed an increase with a 7-day lag. The changes in hospitalisations and ventilation have been moving more or less in tandem.

The correlation between rising ventilation figures and deaths (r-h chart) is also apparent, and without the mid-Aug error in the reported figures the pattern of the curves should be more alike. Theoretically, we should see a drop / rise in the light blue curve followed by a similar change in the lilac curve (as in early July) all the way.

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As of 28 November 2021, hospitals are required to report how many coronavirus patients they have on invasive and non-invasive ventilation. Since then, however, authorities have been reporting only the former data, which proved to be some 40% lower than before 28 Nov when hospitals were reporting either only invasive or both invasive and non-invasive ventilation figures. The intention of authorities was explicitly to provide clearer more detailed statistics, but they failed miserably and made ventilation stats only murkier.

By now this differentiation has become irrelevant, though. The 'On ventilator / In hospital' ratio has been steadily dropping since May, although there was a spike in late August. The ratio went up to 1.8% from 1.5 in a week.

Vaccination uptake drops slightly, 4th doses remain particularly 'popular'

A total of 5,318 COVID-19 shots have been administered in Hungary over the past seven days, down a bit from 5,445, which showed a large growth from 3,418 a week earlier.

After a 59% jump last week, the daily average slipped 2% to 760 doses per day.

On the graph below you can find a breakdown of the percentage of basic shots and boosters to the total number of doses administered per week. The number of 4th doses more than doubled in the week before last (4,147 vs. 1,962 a week earlier), but the momentum petered out last week, although 4,136 second boosters is still a welcome figure. However, there was a decline in the uptake of 1st, 2nd and 3rd jabs. As a percentage of all doses administered, we see an increase only at 4th doses, though (to 78% from 76%).

Here's a different breakdown of the various doses administered:

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The number of Hungarians with SARS-CoV-2 infection in quarantine was EXACTLY THE SAME at 1,834 for two weeks up to 27 Sept, but in the last seven days it dropped sharply to 774. This also underpins the unreliable nature of Covid stats, not that quarantine figures mean anything amid the current Covid regulations.

Interestingly, new Covid and quarantine stats moved largely in tandem until the end of August but then something went awry in the system. It's really odd that merely 5.6% of all new cases are in mandatory quarantine, while the ratio was as high as 27.3% based on the 13 Sept report, and it seldom drops below 10%. Again, this is just another peculiar snippet in the sea of unreliable / unimportant information.

Cover photo: Getty Images

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