April 21, 2021

German study: One in five patients hospitalized with Covid-19 died

FILED - Computer tomography images of the lungs of a Covid-19 patient on two monitors in a hospital in Stuttgart. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa - ATTENTION: individual(s) has/have been pixelated for legal reasons

By: Gisela Gross, Rachel More and Sascha Meyer

Berlin (dpa) – More than a fifth of Covid-19 patients who received hospital care in Germany earlier this year died, a study has found.

The mortality rate for those receiving ventilation was even higher, at 53 per cent, according to the research.

The study was conducted by the WIdO scientific research institute of the AOK, one of Germany’s biggest health insurance providers, together with the Divi industry association for emergency care and the Technical University of Berlin.

The researchers analysed data from around 10,000 patients, 1,700 of whom were put on a ventilator.

Among patients not on a ventilator, the mortality rate was significantly lower, at 16 per cent.

Authors of the study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, said it was Germany’s first national analysis of completed hospital cases.

The research was based on AOK administrative claims data, said to cover almost a third of the German population.

The data were from patients admitted to 920 German hospitals between February 26 and April 19, the statement said.

“These high mortality rates clearly show that a relatively high number of patients with a very serious course of disease were treated in hospitals,” said Juergen Klauber, director of WIdO.

“Such serious course of diseases mainly affect older people and people whose health is already compromised, but also occur in younger patients,” he added.

According to a Divi register, 258 Covid-19 patients remain in intensive care in Germany, half of whom are on ventilators (as of Tuesday).

Over than 15,000 closed cases of Covid-19 treatment are listed in the register, a quarter of which were fatal.

Germany has lifted many of the sweeping restrictions put in place in mid-March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease.

However, a jump in newly reported coronavirus cases in recent days has caused concern.

On Wednesday, the government’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control recorded a daily rise of 684, bringing the country’s official caseload so far in the pandemic to 206,926. Over 9,100 people have died.

On Friday, the number of new cases recorded over a 24-hour period surpassed the 800 mark, after having come in at between 300 and 500 in the weeks prior.

The increase is said to be largely down to localized outbreaks.

It has also coincided with borders reopening and people travelling again.

The government has agreed with state health ministers to roll out testing for all people returning to the country from abroad, including mandatory testing for those coming back from areas considered high-risk.

A Health Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that the cost of the tests would be covered by the federal government.

A directive is to be enacted this week that will allow for an increased statutory health insurance subsidy in order to finance the move, the spokesperson said.

A directive making testing mandatory for travellers from certain regions is to follow next week.

 

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