COVID-19: Improvement after sharp worsening in key Hungarian coronavirus stats

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Hungarian authorities diagnosed 12,636 people with SARS-CoV-2 infection over the past week, an 8% week-on-week decrease after a 21% jump. 104 people died of coronavirus-related diseases over the past seven days, versus 73 a week earlier (+42% after a 59% rise). There are 1,700 people with COVID-19 in hospital, 3% fewer than a week ago, and 32 of them are on ventilator, exactly the same as a week ago, which follows a 78% w/w jump. The figures are extremely volatile.
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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 an improvement from last week, which is relative, considering that 104 people still did die of coronavirus-related diseases which marks a 42% w/w growth.

"It looks like coronavirus is spreading in Hungary at an accelerating rate, but next week's dataset might easily show the opposite," we wrote in our Covid report a week ago.

Exactly a year ago, the weekly average number of Covid deaths was 11, which compares with 15 now (+35%). The weekly average of new cases is up 167% yr/yr at 1,805 from 677.

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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 edged up to 1.9% from 1.8% in a week (up from 1.5% two weeks ago).

Vaccination uptake drops further, 4th doses rule

A total of 4,824 COVID-19 shots have been administered in Hungary over the past seven days, down a bit from 5,318, which showed a decrease from 5,445 a week earlier.

The daily average fell 9% to 689 doses per day after a 2% slip to 760 a week ago.

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. After two weeks of growth The number of 4th doses administered (3,807) fell by 9% (from 4,136) after no change (-0.3%) a week ago and two weeks of growth before that. There was a decline also 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 79% from 78%).

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

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There was some hiccup in the official statistics of the number of Hungarians with SARS-CoV-2 infection in quarantine over the past few weeks, and the government portal has finally provided an explanation. It's a mystery why it hasn't bothered earlier, but we are not surprised.

In view of the favourable epidemiological data, the protocol for coronavirus infections was changed on 30 September. The official home quarantine has been lifted, so this data is no longer reported.

Not that this piece of information had any bearing on Covid-related regulations in the current wave (or in the previous ones for that matter), this is yet another statistical 'nuisance' we can bid farewell to.

R.I.P. home quarantine data!

Cover photo: Getty Images

 

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