Covid-19 is a SARS-like illness, not a flu-like illness. Covid-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, a relative of SARS-CoV which causes SARS. Covid-19 has an infection fatality rate of between 1% and 1.5%, over an order of magnitude higher than seasonal flu.
PPE is a crucial issue because covid-19 disproportionally kills medical staff. In the UK, 10% of staff are absent due to covid-19. Covid-19 has been killing medical staff since it first emerged in Wuhan. It killed the young doctor, Dr. Li Wen-Liang, who defied Chinese authorities to alert the world to this new disease. Try watching this:
Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency – 46 minutes, with citizen phone video from within the Wuhan lockdown, including a visit to an overwhelmed hospital, where staff were in despair:
If you have any genuine interest in the use of ventilators, the latter part of this article is informative:
The Great Ventilator Fiasco of COVID-19 (MedPage Today)
I suspect that what has happened is that the UK NHS prepared for ten times as many cases due to the UK government’s initial policy of mitigation, before it was persuaded to implement the more suppressive policy of the stay-at-home restriction and closing pubs and other non-essential businesses.
It is misleading to consider Intensive Care Unit capacity and occupancy in isolation because serious (as opposed to critical) cases are accommodated in “general acute beds” rather than intensive care. There are currently 1,559 critical cases in the UK. The following article is from April 13; pressure on hospitals has eased since then, partly because so many patients have died. Link to article:
* – Figures from the national NHS operational dashboard, seen by HSJ, show that 40.9 per cent of NHS general acute beds were unoccupied as of the weekend — 37,500 of the total 91,600 relevant beds recorded in the data. That is 4,500 more than the 33,000 the NHS said had been freed up on 27 March, and nearly four times the normal amount of free acute beds at this time of year.
* – Despite hospitals remaining relatively empty overall, according to the dashboard data, certain services and settings, especially in some regions, are under high pressure, and maintaining service levels is becoming more difficult with high levels of coronavirus-related staff absence.
* – The dashboard confirms hospital pressure is concentrated on critical care. Across England, 3,228 patients were in critical care beds — representing 78 per cent of the total of 4,122 critical care beds which were available in February. More have since been opened, but it is not known how many.
* – On top of this, thousands of covid-19 patients are receiving basic oxygen support but are not on full critical care ventilation. The dashboard data show this number to be more than 8,100 nationally, or about half of the coronavirus cases currently in hospital.
Moscow went under lockdown on March 29, at which time there had been only eight deaths in Russia. By comparison, the negligent UK government waited for 359 deaths before locking down. In Russia, much stronger restrictions than the UK’s had been applied progressively throughout March. The earlier restrictions are applied, the less deaths follow; see my table in the latter part of this comment.
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N_, it took you moments to reinforce the right-wing distortions and disinformation. It has taken me over an hour to gather evidence to counter your damaging contribution. Please tell me, what is your attitude toward human suffering?