Another update from over here, and some preliminary findings from rolling out antibody testing to blood donors, which I thought I’d share.
Curves of hospital admissions are still slowly and steadily falling. Still a stable influx from the ordinary wards into the ICUs which approximately balances daily deaths. So far so good - the plan is to begin the first phase of gradual reopening of the country on april 15th: that’s just nurseries, daycare, kindergardens and schools up to 5th grade. All other lockdown measures stay in place at least another month. Large gatherings are banned until the end of august.
PPE has been been getting scarce, especially outside of hospitals. PCR-testing capacity is really taking off, though, so that’s good. Problems with false-negative results due to sampling of upper airways are becoming evident, with a few examples of clusters of healthcare workers in hospital wards getting infected as a result.
They started rolling out antibody-testing of blood donors for COVID-19 a few days ago. It’s too early to make an estimate of the true case numbers, and it’s probably a skewed sample of the population, but still interesting. It seems not a lot of people have been infected, at least compared to what I expected, since testing had been very limited and selective until recently:
In the capital region, with a current cumulative incidence of confirmed cases of 1241 per million of population - that’s around 0.1 - 0.15 percent - they found seropositivity in 2.7 percent of blood donors (edit: adjusted for false negative rate, and including tests from a few more days, seropositivity was 3.5 percent). For perspective, the number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 there maxed out (so far, knock on wood) at around 140 patients per million inhabitants.
I’m no fan of herd immunity as a strategy (it’s planning to fail, unless you have a vaccine), but I had expected/hoped for a larger proportion of immune in the population, even though we were quick to lock down the country and kept the epidemic decently controlled. The effects of a partial herd immunity (with maybe 50% of the population being immune) will be a big part of the solution to going back to a normal, open society. We’re far from those figures here, unless the blood donors are extremely misrepresentative of the overall population.