Updated Czech COVID-19 spread model estimates 330,000 new cases in second week of November

Even with a slight decrease in the COVID-19 reproduction number, a new UZIS model estimates that the country will see a sharp rise in cases

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 22.10.2020 08:00 (updated on 22.10.2020)

Prague, Oct 21 (CTK) - The Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) model estimating the COVID-19 spread rate predicts that the Czech Republic might expect 205,000 new cases in the first week on November and 330,000 in the second week, UZIS head Ladislav Dušek told reporters.

The government restrictions recently adopted aim to curb the epidemic and create a path for a more positive scenario.

The UZIS drafted four models based on the reproduction number (R number), which is the number of people infected by one COVID-19 positive person. Czech Health Minister Roman Prymula said at a press conference that the R number is now 1.36.

The closest UZIS prediction is based on a R number of 1.29, estimating that the week from October 16 to 24 will see 128,000 infected people and an average daily rise of 14,236 cases.

However, these results correlate with a high percentage of positive tests, which means that there are more infected people in the population than the tests reveal.

According to this model, the last October week might see 148,000 cases, the first in November 205,000, and the following one 332,000.

If the anti-coronavirus measures succeed in flattening the R number to 1.1, the last week of October would see 117,000, and the first week in November roughly 170,000.

A very optimistic scenario using an R number of 0.73 predicts a steep drop in new coronavirus cases.

To curb the epidemic, it is crucial to prevent the hospital capacity from depleting. This is another aspect that the UZIS models take into account, factoring the number of currently-occupied hospital beds.

"In the summer, 4 to 6 percent of the infected were hospitalized, now it is 5 to 6 percent," Dušek said.

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All scenarios based on an R number above 1.00 imply a progressive exhaustion of health care facilities, because there will be progressively more infected, Prymula noted.

Currently, there are 4,400 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals. According to the model using an R number of 1.10, hospitals would reach 10,000 patients around November 8. The model most closely matching the current situation, with an R number of 1.29, would reach this threshold by the end of October.

Without a flattened R number, the end of October would see some 2,500 patients in a serious condition and mid-November nearly 5,000. Currently, 657 patients are in a serious condition.