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Signs of COVID-19 epidemic deceleration are emerging in Sydney.

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The previous post noted encouraging signs of less disease severity in the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney.

These  came from looking at the progression of hospital and ICU patient numbers over time. Late December 2021 a smaller and smaller faction of hospitalised patients went to the ICU.

But there is more to this story. We want to know is the epidemic slowing down, and suspect that total infection my give misleading false signals of epidemic slowdown as the testing system is overloaded. But hospital patient records a likely reliable.

This is what you get when you plot logarithms of hospital numbers against time. 

Both the hospital total patient numbers and intensive care unit (ICU) patient numbers started show slowed rate of growth very late in December.

This is a sign we may be nearing a peak in hospital and ICU demand because real daily infection  numbers are decelerating.

This is a hopeful signal.

An Index of epidemic severity based on relative ICU demand – log hospitalisation -log ICU numbers.

It’s also interesting to look at the gap between these curves, which is an index of how likely hospitalised patients are suffering from very severe disease that needs ICU care. High values of the index are good news.

This index increased in August 2021 as coronavirus vaccines were rolled out, in November 2021 as vaccine boosters were rolled out, and in January 2022 as the Omicron SARS-2 variant virus started to dominate.

The Pundit finds that fascinating and welcome news, better than stock index changes.


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