State analysts: Coronavirus infections to peak in early summer

The first analysis on the spread of the virus estimates that 10 percent of people in Slovakia will be infected.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

If Slovakia had taken no measures linked to the coronavirus, about 45 percent of people in the country would have been infected at the turn of March and April, the analysis of the state-run Institute of Health Policy has shown.

Thanks to the significant restrictions the government undertook, the peak of the disease should come 110 days since the first infection was confirmed in the country, estimate the analysts of the institute running under the Health Ministry. That means the peak is likely to come in June.

A high number of increases in new patients will then last for 15 to 20 more days, before it starts slowly decreasing.

This is a manageable number for the Slovak health care system, analysts said. This applies to the model of measures that Slovakia has been following in the past few days.

Analysts say about 10 percent of the population will be infected, roughly half a million people. Some 300,000 of them would show symptoms of the infection. Analysts, however, question whether the state will be able to maintain the strict measures that are currently in place for a few months.

Compared with the first, riskiest scenario lacking timely measures, it is 35 percentage points less.

>> Read everything about the coronavirus in Slovakia here.

Tens of thousands will have symptoms

This scenario sets day zero on Sunday, March 15. Today is thus only the second day of the epidemic.

On the tenth day, meaning Wednesday March 25, there will be 455 patients with symptoms and 34 people will be hospitalised. Five people are expected to be in critical condition, in need of medical ventilation.

On the 60th day, at the beginning of May, about 52,025 people will show symptoms of the Covid-19 infection, 3,866 people will be hospitalised and 532 people will need ventilation.

On the 100th day, in mid-June, there will be 322,000 people with symptoms, almost 24,000 hospitalisations and 3,294 people in intensive care.

Slovakia currently has slightly over 1,000 ventilation machines available, according to the Health Ministry. By mid-June, they could be able to procure some, including from Asian countries that have already surpassed the peak of the epidemic, said the head of the Health Policy Institute, Martin Smatana.

Social distancing works

Analysts said that the measures taken seem to be effective.

“Repressing the epidemic through social distancing is the best possible response to this crisis and as our model showed, a decrease of the mobility and spread of the infection will be crucial to limiting its spread to the most at-risk groups,” the analysis reads.

The model that Slovakia followed until Sunday, March 15, with medium mobility of inhabitants, would result in the infection peaking on the 60th day with 25 percent of the population infected at peak (roughly 1.4 million people). This is the scenario PM Peter Pellegrini mentioned on Monday.

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