Home News Eliminating the daily bulletin will not make the pandemic go away. What numbers matter today

Eliminating the daily bulletin will not make the pandemic go away. What numbers matter today

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The number of admissions per day, those in intensive care, and the percentage growth per day.


We are seeing it in the United Kingdom, invested before us by Omicron: the number of people hospitalized today is 18,600, lower than the peak of 40 thousand recorded last January but close to almost 22 thousand in April 2020. To be much less, again in the UK, are the serious hospitalizations that require mechanical ventilation: today there are 844, there were 4 thousand last January, 3,230 in April 2020.

This is a prime reason why counting new positives still makes sense, in preventative terms. A rise in infections will translate into more hospitalizations and deaths a week or two later.

The weekly, not daily, trend

The daily data, on the other hand, alone counts for little. At a minimum, the 7-day moving average should be considered. The same applies to the comparison of the dry number of infections, or deaths, with the previous day. To get an idea of ​​the trend of the epidemic it has proved useful in recent months to observe the percentage change compared to the same day of the previous week (see the graph below, with the history). To get a more indicative idea of ​​the trend, it is even more helpful to compare the sum of the last 7 days with the previous week, as we do in the texts that appear among the first information on the Lab24 page, just below the daily numbers.


The dots are: daily cases of the day / daily cases of the same day of the previous week. The curve represents the 7-day moving average. If the data is greater than 1 it means that the infections are growing


The data on hospitalizations

The data on the employment of hospital wards is one of the most important, because the goal of vaccines and measures to combat the pandemic is, in addition to reducing mortality, to reduce the pressure on hospitals allowing the treatment of other diseases. These data are provided and indicate the occupied beds. The percentages of employment are also those that determine the passage of the regions from one color band to another, together with the incidence of cases.

However, the daily variation does not tell us how many people have entered the wards, but how many there are more, net of those who have left in the meantime, due to recovery or death. This also explains the importance of the contagion data to preventively assess the progress of the epidemic.Only from December 2020 the number of daily admissions to intensive care is also communicated.

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