And 3,246 injuries were recorded on Tuesday, with an expected decrease of 1,000 injuries. Why is that? How dangerous is this development?
The current scenarios were drawn up in mid-August according to the dynamics that were in place at that time. Until last week, we developed relatively strictly according to a realistic scenario that, unfortunately, assumed an increased burden on the population. Two thousand is a forecast meaning an average of 2,000 people per day, including weekends. This means that at these peak values the number will exceed three thousand, with weekly episodes exceeding 100 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.
According to a realistic scenario, this was supposed to happen next week, but it has already happened. The epidemic is accelerating. With a reproduction number that is not good at all now (more than 1.5), and with a highly contagious form of the virus, it will accelerate further. Neither the data nor the models allow me to say anything other than that we must prepare for further growth not only in the number of new cases, but also in the number of hospitalizations in the coming weeks.
Is there a risk of restrictions on hospital care?
I can’t rule it out. In some regions, where the burden is greater – Moravskoslezský, Jihomoravsk, Olomoucký, Praha, Jihočeský – the viral load in the population is so great that there is free community spread of the highly contagious form of the virus. Therefore, it cannot be excluded that the number of hospitalizations will increase significantly.
However, the situation can not be copied with the situation since the beginning of the year. The virus, in its effect on health, greatly inhibits vaccination. If we are not at least as vaccinated as we are, there are six to ten times more people in hospitals who are seriously ill at this time. We see that the course of infection that occurs in the elderly after vaccination is not significantly more difficult. Vaccination prevents this, but unfortunately there are still a large number of unvaccinated people.
Back on Friday, I said we were sticking with a realistic scenario. Did you expect we could switch to taking risks so quickly?
We anticipated a risk scenario, so it was included in all forecasts. Models only predicted that, on average, more than 2,000 new cases per day in this volume of testing would be available within a week from now, that is, at the end of October. So it’s a week faster.
Could the jump in diseases be related to the parliamentary elections ten days ago, which is usually the time when the event can manifest itself in numbers?
Regional health stations, which track all loaded places, are able to answer this question. I’d be really hesitant to say any hypotheses now. These are site specifics. On the other hand, the jump is far from being in all areas.
What is the percentage of diseases that make up the elderly? Has the number of infections increased significantly, even in high-risk groups?
The number of infected elderly people is increasing, but not as severely as the disease in the entire population. At the moment, in the age group over 65, we have about 43 seizures per 100,000 inhabitants per week. The average population is more than 100 per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
IHIS data show that lower vaccination coverage is more in border areas. How do you explain that and how do you motivate the local population to get vaccinated?
Unfortunately, I cannot be optimistic here, because I know that in many of those areas, the first vaccination is being done. Mobile teams go there to bring the vaccine home. This leads to a worse availability argument. I am sorry. Maybe it’s a phenomenon that someone should watch, because it’s not just a matter of one area.
Do you think there is more that can be done?
We’re not going to discover America, maybe the way is to get the general practitioners involved as much as possible, because they live with these people, and they have personal relationships with them. Mayors in smaller municipalities also have a similar and important influence. Thanks to their relationships with the locals, they can do a lot for it.
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