Suspect? Hospital stays “have not yet returned to numbers that allow” to ponder Covid-19

The evolution numbers for covid-19 released this Sunday are encouraging when it comes to reducing the number of new positive cases, but point to a period of “saturation of the effects of restriction” emerging this week The PUBLIC, mathematician Carlos Antunes from the Faculty of Science at the University of Lisbon tells the PUBLIC that we are close to the moment when the limitation due to the frequency of the cases “can no longer” because it is still “About 35%” gives the population mobility and that spreads the virus “.

The latest data released this Sunday and referring to Saturday shows that Portugal recorded 65 more deaths from Covid-19 and 1,186 new infections from SARS-CoV-2. In terms of the number of deaths, this is the lowest number since December 27th. Since October 11, when 1,090 new infections were reported, the number of new cases has not been this low.

The capacity of the National Health Service was put to the test in the third wave, when it peaked at nearly 6,900 hospital stays between the infirmary and intensive care unit. The numbers this Sunday are much lower: 3,954 hospital stays, 638 of them in intensive care units. But the situation “has not yet returned to the numbers that allow relief from the existing situation”.

With this trend, the number of prenatal hospitalizations should be reached “this week” and in intensive care units “in early March,” according to Carlos Antunes, who says “as long as the hospital pressures are not removed” is impaired. “This is at a time when” health professionals burnout cannot withstand a fourth wave. “

In the speech given by the President of the Republic to the country during the last renewal of the state of emergency on February 11, it became clear that the levels for the lack of definition were far from being reached. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa then said that by Easter Portugal “had to reduce the number of infected people to fewer than two thousand so that hospital stays and intensive care could drop from more than five thousand and more than eight hundred to almost a quarter of those values ​​now [1250 internados e 200 em UCI]”. And the reduction is not enough: it must include “sustainable, permanent stabilization without ups and downs” [dos números]”In order not to run the risk of being” another mismatch between two vacancies, “said the President of the Republic.

According to Carlos Antunes’ calculations, those numbers can be hit in March, but “the problem is the UCIs, whose numbers are taking longer” to get back to that level. The “sustainable” number for the total number of intensive care units is one hundred and “only in the second half of March below 300 beds [com a actual tendência]”.

Reducing the number of hospital stays

Reducing the number of hospital patients in hospitals is imperative to begin the following missing definition, still without a government set date. The experts themselves avoid adding a date to the calendar in order not to raise expectations or to saturate the population. Mathematician Carlos Antunes warns that “any missing definition will give way to the new variant and this new variant has the ability to increase the numbers quickly”.

The effects of the vaccine should not “become more relevant in the case of Israel until the population’s vaccination rate is above 50%,” a number that should “probably only be reached in summer”. These effects should be felt in reducing the number of hospitalizations, intensive care units, and deaths.

This Monday there will be another Infarmed meeting, scheduled for 2:30 p.m., where the President of the Republic, Prime Minister, President of the Assembly of the Republic and party leaders will listen to experts and the situation of Covid-19 in Portugal will evaluate before another expected renewal of the state of emergency.