Coronavirus

The RKI probably overestimated the number of severe corona courses

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The daily infection numbers and occupancy rates of intensive care beds form the basis of decision-making in pandemic policy, which affects everyone’s lives and costs society billions. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at these numbers.

“ZEIT” has now found out in its own research that 20 to 30 percent of the patients who are listed as inpatient corona patients in the official statistics of the RKI are treated for other diseases – and only by chance were tested positive for corona .

For example, it can be a person who actually broke a leg or – and this seems to be the case particularly often – pregnant women who come to the hospital for delivery. They are all tested for the virus at the entrance to most hospitals.

“For every 15 COVID patients who have entered, about five have a secondary diagnosis”

“For every 15 Covid patients we have, there are about five with the secondary diagnosis Covid-19. That means that they actually came to the hospital for other reasons, ”confirms Michael Siemann, microbiologist at the Kiel hospital, to“ ZEIT ”.

The same phenomenon can be seen in the intensive care units, whose occupancy rate is a particularly important indicator of the status of the pandemic. After all, ten percent of the patients reported as corona cases are actually because of another cause. These, too, were only randomly tested positive for the virus because of the routine tests.

According to calculations by “ZEIT”, the number of corona patients receiving intensive care is currently reduced by 330. Health insurance companies confirm the problem of double diagnoses. “We see a significant proportion of hospital cases that were treated for a disease other than Corona and that are still listed under ‘Corona patient’ in the statistics,” explains Uwe Repschläger, Finance Director of the Barmer health insurance company.

“After almost a year of Corona, the RKI has no reliable statistics”

Routine tests are of course a sensible measure, because hospitals are among the places with the highest risk due to the close contact and the many sick people there. S.

These test results are then automatically sent to the health authorities and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In its official statistics, however, this still does not differentiate between random corona findings and those that were the cause of a person being admitted to hospital.

Boris Augurzky, head of the health department at the Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Essen, criticized this fact in relation to “ZEIT”: “After almost a year of Corona, the RKI still has no reliable, timely statistics.” In April 2020 this was due to the new situation was still understandable, “but ten months later we still have unreported areas in the statistics. On this shaky basis, however, very far-reaching political decisions have to be made. “

9 out of 10 who tested positive do not need any medical care

It has been a phenomenon that has been known since the beginning of the pandemic that the infection is completely symptom-free in around half of those infected, so that they do not even think of getting tested. The resulting unreported number of actually infected compared to the tested infected can only be estimated.

The calculations of “ZEIT” now show, however, that as many as nine out of ten who tested positive do not need any medical support to overcome the infection. Had they not been routinely tested, many likely would not even have been aware of their infection.

Because it has also been clear since the beginning of the pandemic that risk groups in particular experience a severe course of the disease, while all others only extremely rarely experience dangerous courses.

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