Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In Ireland the hospitalisation rate is 26% of confirmed test patients. If 20% of those were to die that would imply a 5.2% case mortality rate. In Ireland the case mortality rate is currently 0.58%, implying the Tilbourg hospital has a ten times worse case mortality rate. However this is no worse than the overall average Dutch case mortality rate of 5.55%.

Assuming the Irish and Dutch health care systems are broadly equivalent, this ten fold disparity in case mortality rates could be due to a number of factors:

  1. Greater testing in Ireland - resulting in a higher denominator of cases confirmed relative to the virus' real spread in the community.
  2. Ireland being at an earlier stage in the pandemic - and thus the disease has run its course in less cases
  3. Lower average age profile of all cases in Ireland - median age in Ireland is 45 - I don't know what it is in Holland.
  4. The hospital system in Tilburg has been overwhelmed by a concentration of severe cases, and is no longer able to provide optimum life saving care.

Germany is the other comparator to Holland with a tenfold lower case mortality rate. I'm not sure this makes the overall handling of the pandemic in Holland look good. Whether you want to apportion blame to Rutte or to other factors, I leave to you guys to debate.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 12:45:20 PM EST
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Survival ...

I took measures a few weeks ago not to be in harm's way, and not place my trust in a reluctant government sending mixed signals. It's one or the other, it can't be both at the same time.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 01:16:15 PM EST
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The Irish are proably hospitalising too many people (by continental standards), presumably because they can... so far.

In France, 10k hospitalised out of 25k tested positive, but you pretty much have to be symptomatic to get tested (and even then, they will tell you there's no point in testing). Of the 10k, 2500 in intensive care, and 1300 dead... very high death rate, very comparable to the Netherlands... but the base line for number of cases is not comparable with Ireland, where testing has been much more  widespread.

The differential in death rate will likely start to show up soon, between the countries in lockdown and the others.

Or not. Perhaps Rutte (and Boris, and the Swedes) are right...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 02:28:39 PM EST
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The numbers are certainly weird all around.

In this interview Annibale makes the point that the ridiculously high death rate in Italy is concentrated in the Lombardy. Not in Piedmont and Veneto with around 3% and neither in the much poorer Sicily and Sardinia. And while he has no explanation he mentions that Lombardy is a much more friendly environment for private health insurance, which might have led to people getting treatment too late.
I'm also pretty livid that I get this from an American podcast, while our state TV goes to their London correspondent for news on the health of the royal spawn.
by generic on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 02:51:31 PM EST
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I have read that the COVID stays in the air much longer when it has lots of fine particles to adhere to, and that this could have been a major factor in its early widespread propagation, in Wuhan and in Lombardy in particular. Likely Ile de France and London too.

Luckily, the air has become a whole lot cleaner these last couple of weeks.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 03:09:27 PM EST
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Every time there's a lull in winds and rain to clean Milan's skies and the smog piles up over the city and hinterland, the full amount of Lombardia's pollution is suddenly revealed. If in winter the particulate counts go far higher as most central heating is from legacy diesel oil combustion.
I have workstayed in Milan many times and while not Bangkok levels, the pollution levels were stifling, only relieved when (extremely acid) rain would fall and temporarily rinse the air. Summer, while better from the heating being off, is also worse because of the intense heat buildup from hot weather radiating from the cement almost till dawn and the sun's interaction with the emissions, L.A. style.
Traveling on a 'pendolino' (short commuter trainride from city centre to suburbs and back) there haunted me for days as never elsewhere in Europe have I felt such a palpable sense of desolate doom as exhausted low food-chain workers (mostly POC) returned home in silence, body language of crumpled defeat, 1000 mile stares, the implicit acceptance and sadness of that knowledge parallel with the grimy light and sepia sorrow of the scene.
It was 20thC Dickensian, an Italian Ruhr valley.

Looking at European pollution maps the obvious immediate suspects, the big cities, Brussels, Paris and like stand out till you grok that a triangle between Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna pumps out more pollution than anywhere else. The Italian Wuhan, iow.
The hotbed and stronghold of Italy's AFD party, the Lega di Salvini, whence come regular calls to secede from the 'lazy, parasitical' south (whose starving emigrés powered the North's workhouses during the golden years of Italian industrialisation), before Fiat jumped ship to the USA after sucking public bailout funds for years after Italy's boom hit reality's shoals. Alitalia is on a similar teat right now, huge payouts to heads of failed companies, who then fall upwards to helm other state/private shipwrecks.
Northern Italians have been so much wealthier than Southern counterparts since Alpine trade routes opening to North European markets supplanted the South's historical sources of maritime trade wealth that there are basically 2 Italy's now, and little love lost between them.
Northerners mostly vote C. right and hard right, like Republicans in the USA they hate central government because they only want to pay less taxes, Berlusconi's siren song. Southerners take free fish dinners and are slipped E50 to vote for whom the mob tell them to vote for, whoever accomodates their simbiosis, deals not ideals, party-agnostic, or don't bother voting at all, (understandably as it hasn't detectably improved their lot much).
This concentration of wealth in the north has much weakened any unity Italy enjoyed, sapping civic sense and national identity.

Perhaps this crisis will humble the hothead Salvini, whose 30% poll ratings make him the shoo-in next PM if Conte drops the ball and Italy goes to new elections.
Tellingly Salvini carbon-copied Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson and Rutte in his initial economy-trumps-human collateral damage and similarly has U-turned and is now rabidly baying for tighter control, tanks in the street etc.
Renzi suffers equally from media attention deficit syndrome (and love for Berlusconismo) and so his perennially polemic yappings punctuate and pollute the political discourse further even than when he was PM. His job is to outyap his own ovious-to-all-but-him political irrelevance and together with Salvini stir shit to undermine Conte, whose continued popularity infuriates both of them. The Pekinese and the Pitbull running maximum interference to Conte's smoothly calming leadership so far in this crisis.
In an Italian political climate that favours hysteria and hype Conte stands out for dignified aplomb. After some initial message fumbling 3 weeks ago he has kept his head commendably during this epic crisis, treading the finest of political lines between health and wealth calmly and seriously.
For which in these saddest of times I and many, many others here am incredibly grateful.

(Especially watching how other state leaders are comporting themselves evem after so much time and warning.)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 04:20:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for insightful post. 🇨🇮 🇨🇭

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 06:46:13 AM EST
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Even today, the pollution in Lombardia is the worst in Western Europe, even worse than the Ruhr area:

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 09:50:49 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 11:24:29 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 10:07:10 PM EST
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Brilliant comment Melo  - no chance you could convert into Diary? "The politics of Pestilence and Pollution"???

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 10:54:38 AM EST
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10k hospitalised out of 25K tested positive is a 40% hospitalisation rate - higher than Ireland's 26%.

You also have to be symptomatic to be tested in Ireland and the criterion has recently been tightened from one symptom to two. There is a 40K backlog of people waiting to be tested so presumably that will result in another spike of positives as the testing rate ramps up to 10K per day. Currently 1564 have tested positive out of c. 18k tests carried out - a c. 9% positive rate which would indicate the 40,000 backlog will reveal another 3.6K positives when completed.

More statistics  in official epidemiological report

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 03:08:48 PM EST
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Ah there you go, only 39 in ICU out of 305 hospitalisations.

Bearing in mind that triage is in full swing in France : in the East, and in the Paris region, you certainly won't get a respirator if you're not deemed likely to survive. Also, hospitals are not admitting COVID patients from old people's homes, they are literally leaving them to die in their institutions.

These are the decisions that they make every day in hospitals; that is what doctors do, and there's no point in criticising. The French health system is apparently expecting the peak to arrive in the middle of next week. I certainly hope it's that soon.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 03:22:42 PM EST
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From yeterday's post - Trump: It's About #Me, Not Others

Daily Situation Report - Robert Koch Institute

Chronology: Germany and the Coronavirus | Berlin Spectator |

The number of cases keep on rising ...

The man with the white shock of hair in Room 4 of the intensive care unit wasn't able to breathe. But now, a tube has been placed in his throat and oxygen is flowing into his lungs. You can see through the window on the door to the room how his chest is moving up and down in time with the ventilator, 28 times a minute. The 83-year-old is fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

[Source: Are Hospitals Ready for the Coming Wave of Corona Cases? | Der Spiegel |]

Controled treatment with attention for compassion!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 03:42:46 PM EST
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I'm not aware of anyone being refused optimum hospital care in Ireland yet whether from an old folks home or otherwise. Of course that may change, but for the moment it would explain a large part of the 10 fold difference in case mortality rates

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 08:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
10 more deaths and 255 new cases confirmed in the Republic: Ten more patients with Covid-19 have died, by far the highest daily death toll so far in the outbreak.
The deaths occurred among three women and seven men; nine were from the east of the country and one from the south.

Thursday also saw a record daily number of new confirmed cases, at 255, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team.

There have now been a total of 1,819 cases of coronavirus in the Republic, and 19 deaths.

The average age of those who died is 79, NPHET said. Some 68 per cent were male and 32 per cent were female.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 09:03:22 PM EST
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Also : the test used in France is acknowledged to have a high rate of false negatives, up to 40% ... Myself, I'd rather not bother with the test.

The strategy here is to roll out mass testing, with a new generation of rapid and more reliable tests, at the end of the confinement stage.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 03:32:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coronavirus: French PM warns 'first 15 days of April will be even more difficult' as death toll rises - The Local
France orders one billion masks from China

Veran said the government's aim was three-pronged: Increase the number of intensive care beds, get the necessary equipment and human reinforcements for hospitals and to transfer patients around the country to ease pressure on certain hospitals.

The number of intensive care beds in France was initially 5,000, which has since risen to around 10,000 but the government hopes to increase it to 14,500.

Veran said the government was exploring various avenues to get hold of enough masks for French health workers, notably via an increase in production within France to make 8 million a week and by ordering more than one billion from China.

Five million tests ordered

The French health minister also said the country had ordered 5 million coronavirus tests that will be able to show a positive or negative result within 15 minutes.

Between now and the end of April France will be able to carry out 30,000 more tests a day. That number will rise to 60,000 in May and 100,000 a day by June, said Olivier Veran.

France currently carries out around 12,000 tests a day.

Separately the health minister has asked elderly care homes known as Ehpad to keep residents in individual isolation. It comes after numerous deaths have occurred in care homes, especially in eastern France.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 08:24:49 PM EST
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o, m'k. Hold my beer.
by Cat on Sat Mar 28th, 2020 at 10:15:34 PM EST
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