INDEX AND REPORT

Poland’s High Positive COVID-19 Test Rate indicates That It Is Not Ready To Ease Social Distancing Measures

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By Emmanuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK

COVID-19 death rates in Poland have increased at an alarming pace since early April, from 4.7 deaths per million population to over 100, as of October 20. This indicates that the country is not yet ready to ease social distancing measures and should consider implementing restrictions to slow the spread of disease before attempting to reopen the economy, says GlobalData.

There are now more than 192,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,700 deaths due to COVID-19 in Poland. The number of cases in the country has increased by more than 9,200 since 19 October.

Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, Ana Fernandez Menjivar comments: “Poland’s strict lockdown measures were gradually lifted from April through June. The country began to record an increase in new cases towards mid-September, and, since then, cases have surged dramatically – creating a second wave much worse than the first.”

Poland appears nowhere near the peak, as approximately 50 per cent of all confirmed cases were reported in the last two weeks. The outlook for the future remains uncertain, as Poland continues to report record highs of new daily cases.

Menjivar adds: “Increased testing may be contributing to the higher number of daily confirmed cases. However, an increase in the positive test rate from approximately 2 per cent in the last week of July to 4.6 per cent on 19 October suggests higher transmission, and that there are likely more people with COVID-19 in the community who haven’t yet been tested.”

Strong demand for ventilators drove robust growth for manufacturers in Q3

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge demand for respiratory devices, especially mechanical ventilators. Major manufactures’ revenues on their ventilator business are considerably above the prior year in Q3, says GlobalData.

Dräger’s net sales in Q3 went up 35.7 per cent compared with last year. Another major manufacture, Getinge’s net sales on the Acute Care Therapies also went up by 63.1 per cent compared with Q3 2019 due to increased ventilators orders in 2020.

Principal Medical Analyst at GlobalData, Tina Deng comments: “This trend is moving towards a normalized demand for COVID-19 related devices, as many companies see the growth in Q3 at a slower pace than in Q1 and Q2. GlobalData expects global demand for respiratory support will steadily return to normal by the end of 2020.

Most of the new ventilators that were purchased due to COVID-19 are being held in reserve. The national stockpile in the US had reached its maximum capacity for ventilators, with nearly 120,000 available for deployment. According to a report from National Audit Office in the UK, only around 2,150 mechanical ventilator units had been dispatched to the NHS by September. The remaining units, over 25,000 are stored in warehouses, because the actual usage of ventilators has proven to be less than original projections.

Deng continues: “According to Getinge’s Q3 reports, while the sales of capital equipment in Acute Care Therapies surged by 232 per cent driven by ICU ventilators, the sales of related consumables only increased 1.8 per centcompared with the same time period last year. This also indicates the actual usage of the ventilators has not increased dramatically in 2020. Nevertheless, the stock can be used in case of the future waves of COVID-19.”

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