Prediction of coronavirus in Slovakia: New model counts with fewer infected cases

On the peak day (110th) 1,030 patients will need ventilators.

Igor Matovič (left) and Martin Smatana (right) presenting new model of coronavirus development in Slovakia.Igor Matovič (left) and Martin Smatana (right) presenting new model of coronavirus development in Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

Hundreds of thousands infected cases and 24,000 patients with coronavirus who will need hospitalisation: these were the results of the first model made by the Institute of the Health Policy that works under the Health Ministry (IZP).

The institute now published a new model using more precise data, which makes the outlook for Slovakia in coping with the coronavirus look more optimistic than the original model.

What are the main changes?

  • The peak is expected on the 110th day since the massive measures were taken (March 15). At that point, 3.2 percent of the population are expected to be infected (the original report counted with 10 percent of the people infected on the peak day).
  • This model takes into consideration all current measures, including the opening of some new shops, such as hobby shops, attorney service or haberdashers as of Monday, March 30. Related story:Slovaks developed an alternative to lung ventilation Read more 
  • On the peak day (110th), 1,030 patients will need ventilators. Slovakia has about 500 ventilators and PM Igor Matovič said that they have enough time to purchase more. Without any measures, Slovakia will need 6,000 ventilators on the 50th day of the epidemic.
  • PM Matovič said that the model can be adjusted. It could lead in the loosening of some measures and focusing the quarantine on selected groups.

“Measures that have been taken to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease seem to be effective. If Slovakia had been able to follow them for a longer time, it could put the country among the five countries to handle the new coronavirus pandemic the best.”

Martin Smatana, director of IZP

Why has the model changed?

Related story:Coronavirus measures work. Very few severe cases in Slovakia so far Read more 

The crucial issue in containing the epidemic is the change of what is known as the R0 factor. The number shows how many people become infected from each infected case.

The previous models worked with the R0 factor at 4, meaning one person infecting four other people. This was a very pessimistic estimation. Now, the number used in the model has been lowered to 1.65.

Another value the model needs to consider is the mobility of people. Value 1 means mobility without any restriction and 0 means no mobility at all. The mobility in the current model is set to 0.35.

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