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11,300 feared to be hospitalized due to coronavirus: THL

Published : 27 Mar 2020, 00:29

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

About 11,300 people are feared to need hospital care in Finland due to the new coronavirus, according to an estimate based on modelling jointly carried out by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the University of Turku.

Out of the infected people, 3,600 will require intensive care, said a THL press release.

According to the estimate, during the peak of the epidemic, slightly over 900 patients would be in hospital care at once, 280 of whom would be in intensive care. The model is updated continuously.

It remains unclear what the natural propagation and infectiveness of the new coronavirus is.

"In Lombardy, Italy, for example, it has been estimated that the basic reproduction number (R0) before the restriction measures was slightly above 3. We have taken this into account and produced two scenarios, in one of which R0 = 1.6 and in the other R0 = 1.8," said Professor Kari Auranen.

"According to the more serious scenario (R0 = 1.8), because of the coronavirus, 15,500 patients would need hospital treatment during the epidemic, of whom 5,000 would require intensive care. In this case, during the peak of the epidemic, an estimated maximum of 500 patients would be treated at once in intensive care units," Auranen said.

"The forecasts will be more accurate once we can use information from Europe. For example, the model takes into account the age distribution of patients in need of intensive care in France," said  Chief Physician Tuija Leino.

In the modelling, the need for hospital and intensive care has been predicted for the 18 peak weeks of the epidemic, nine weeks before and nine weeks after the peak.

Based on current data, the length of the epidemic is estimated to be 4-6 months. As the epidemic may progress to different stages in different regions, forecasts on the timing of the peak of the epidemic cannot be directly interpreted to concern the whole country. The model is updated as new information is received.

The model assumes that an infected individual who ends up being hospitalised will be admitted on average 10 days after the infection.

The average length of hospitalisation is assumed to be eight days in the modelling. On average, patients receiving intensive care are assumed to require both eight days of hospital care and eight days of intensive care.

The model takes into account the fact that some patients will be hospitalised for even longer.