After mask out – Covid stations fill up again

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By March 15, the Covid forecasting consortium expects infection numbers in normal wards to top 2,000 patients.

While the federal capital has now also said goodbye to compulsory masks in public transport and court and official buildings (“Heute” reported), corona numbers, and with them hospitalized Covid 19 patients, have recently risen again in Austria. The Covid Prognosis Consortium’s current assessment assumes that further growth will be expected in normal wards.

One thousand five hundred eighty-two corona-positive patients were in domestic hospitals on Tuesday, 86 in intensive care units. Austria’s seven-day incidence (number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, note) was 435.8, with Vienna peaking at 639.7 among the individual provinces (as of February 28). The district with the highest incidence reported by the Covid-19 dashboard of the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) was Burgenland – Oberpullendorf had 852.1 confirmed Corona infections per 100,000 inhabitants. However, the current situation is put into perspective if one considered the situation one year ago. On February 28, 2022, more than 20,000 new infections were recorded; the seven-day incidence at that time was 2,073.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Most importantly, 2,435 people were lying in hospitals with a Corona infection, of which 189 required intensive medical care.

Regardless, experts from the Covid forecasting consortium believe hospitals may again have to treat more than 2,000 corona-positive patients in normal wards in two weeks. In the current calculation model, a minimum value of 1,224 is given for the cut-off date of March 15, with 2,257 as the maximum. The calculated mean value is 1,744. In contrast, the situation in the intensive care sector remains stable, with a predicted mean value of 94. “Despite the recent increase in the number of plaques, it can be assumed that the Covid-specific plaque within the forecast period will remain below the peak values of the last year,” the consortium emphasizes.

In its weekly Corona report last Monday, AGES noted that the number of hospital patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 had increased by as much as 64 percent within two weeks. In intensive care units, Covid-19 bed occupancy had more than doubled. However, only 24 percent of all hospital corona cases are admitted to normal wards due to Covid-19 symptomatology. At the same time, more than three-quarters of those testing positive were hospitalized for other reasons. Thus, in 76 percent, the primary diagnosis is no longer covid-19 – a significant shift across the pandemic. Over the period since the pandemic outbreak, the proportion of patients with covid-19 as a secondary diagnosis accounts for 54 percent.

In terms of case numbers, the data from the wastewater monitoring – currently available up to February 22 – indicate a temporary end to the upward trend in the incidence of infection. Laboratory-confirmed cases are thus not expected to increase further until the middle of the month, according to the Covid forecasting consortium.

  • source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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