Dr. Franciszek Rakowski from the Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modeling at the University of Warsaw spoke on Thursday about the increase in coronavirus infections and the scenarios for the development of the COVID-19 pandemic on TVN24. He said we could have a thousand cases of infection a day at the end of the month. “1,500, 2,000 cases are most likely in late September,” he said.
The Ministry of Health announced on Thursday about 722 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. The ministry said that 10 people died last day due to COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,895,947 infections have been confirmed in Poland, 75,464 people have died due to COVID-19.
Doctor Franciszek Rakowski from the Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modeling at the University of Warsaw said on TVN24 on Thursday that “we are seeing a change in the trend”.
– She (trend change – red) was mild from mid-August to mid-September. This was due to the fact that it was the time when the Delta variant became a permanent fixture in the Polish population. At the moment, there is a change of pace associated with the change in the degree of social contact – the fact that children return to school, parents return to work, everyone returns to the city. This change of pace is clear and predicted by us – said Rakowski. – The result that was yesterday did not surprise us at all. It fits exactly in our forecasts – he added.
Rakowski: up to 2,000 cases of coronavirus at the end of September possible
As he said, “we will now see an exponential increase in the reported cases, certainly reaching more than a thousand cases by the end of the month.” – 1,500, 2,000 cases (daily-ed.) Are most likely at the end of September – he said.
– Whether there will be more 1700 or more 2000 or 2300, it will already indicate whether we will go further in the optimistic or pessimistic variant. The pessimistic variant is associated with a high wave rising in October and reaching its peak in November even in the order of more than 40,000 confirmed cases (daily – red) – said Rakowski.
He noted that “this does not translate to the number of hospitalizations as in previous waves”. However, he added that the number of hospitalizations may also reach a high level of over 20,000. – This is the most severe scenario, which does not have to work, because at the other extreme there is a scenario where we come to several thousand confirmed cases in January – he added.
However, as he noted, “it is known that the fourth wave will be and that it has great development potential in Poland”. – We estimate that about a quarter of Poles are not protected in any way with antibodies – said the doctor. – These people will get the virus (…) They will be exposed to severe course and complications – he added.
Epidemic development forecasts
The epidemic development forecast in autumn 2021 created by ICM UW is a test forecast that takes into account the risk of reinfection and partial cross resistance between variants Alpha and Delta. Cross-resistance in this case is building immunity based on contact with one of the variants of the coronavirus and going through the disease. The storage of the Alpha variant means that we can be somewhat immune to the Delta variant.
The forecast variants assume two levels of population resistance – lower (about 45 percent) and higher (57 percent). The analysis takes into account all the introduced restrictions and easing, including the holiday period (school closings and more frequent travels), the forecasts assume administrative restrictions and the intensity of social contacts in the post-holiday period, analogous to September 2020. Scientists estimated that the share of the Delta variant among patients with at six percent. The analysis also included vaccinated individuals whose first dose was administered until August 14, 2021.
Researchers assumed that immunity levels were at 100% for the first month after recovery, and then slowly declining linearly at a rate of 5%. for a month.
In addition, it was also assumed that the level of cross-resistance, i.e. resistance built on the basis of similar pathogens (in this case different variants of the coronavirus), is initially 87.5%, 95%. or 97.5 percent. Such immunity lasts for a month after recovery, and then slowly declines linearly at a rate of 5%. for a month.
Graph analysis – high and low immunization
According to the most pessimistic scenarios, which assume low immunization, i.e. low immunity to the coronavirus, at the peak of the fourth wave of the pandemic, we can record about 50-70 thousand cases per week on average. The number of hospitalized people may then exceed 30,000. The greatest accumulation of deaths may occur in January and February.
On the other hand, the most optimistic model assumes that at the peak of the fourth wave, we can record up to 30,000 per week. new cases, and people hospitalized over 10 thousand.
With high immunization, the models and data will differ slightly. Under the worst-case scenarios, during the peak of the fourth wave, the average weekly number of cases may be around 30,000-50,000 and the number of hospitalized patients may exceed 20,000. Optimistic models estimate that the average weekly number of cases will range from 10,000 to 20,000, and in hospitalized persons, from 5,000 to 10,000. Here, too, the greatest accumulation of deaths may occur in January and February.
Main photo source: PAP