Everyone around the world is dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. They are also wondering if their healthcare system will be able to cope, and if their social-distancing measures are working. Here in the UK we have been told to help ‘flatten the curve‘ by ‘staying at home’ to ‘protect the NHS‘, but what does that mean. When will we hit the peak of the curve, how many people will possibly die, and how overwhelmed is our National Health Service (NHS).
Instead of the vague discussions about ‘flattening the curve’ and ‘protecting the NHS‘ the team at University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) have put together a model which predicts the number, and timeframes with reaching the peak of the curve, and NHS support. The IHME model forecasts the impact of social distancing on the total number of hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators that we have in the UK. It also predicts how many deaths we will see per day before the number starts to slow down.
As of this morning (11th April, 2020) these are IHME UK’s COVI-19 projections assuming full social distancing through May 2020:
Every death is a major tragedy, but we may yet find solace that we can contain the impact of COVID-19 to these projected numbers by doing our part — by staying at home, and social distancing.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME): https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-kingdom
Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator-days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.27.20043752v1
Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
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