Is the occupancy rate of intensive care beds deliberately exaggerated?


THE CHEKING PROCESS – According to some, this rate would be “inflated” to make believe that the situation is more serious than it is in reality …

Olivier Véran, had mentioned this summer the possibility of simultaneously having 12,000 resuscitation beds in France, if the situation required it.
Olivier Véran, had mentioned this summer the possibility of simultaneously having 12,000 resuscitation beds in France, if the situation required it. AFP / ALI AL-DAHER

THE QUESTION. In recent days, voices have been rising to denounce the method of calculating the occupancy rate of resuscitation beds by Covid-19 patients. In around twenty departments, such as Isère, Loire or Seine-et-Marne, this rate is well over 100%. In the Hautes-Alpes, it even reached 238% on Tuesday 3 November. How is it possible ? There is a rumor, on networks in particular, that this rate is in fact exaggerated with the sole aim of making people believe that the situation is more serious than it is in reality, and thus better accept the measures imposed. Is this really the case?

CHECKS. To understand what this is about, let’s take a look at how this indicator is calculated. On the one hand, we take the number of patients under intensive care (3878 at the time of writing); on the other, the number of beds normally available in intensive care units (5,080 at the end of 2019 according to the latest official figures). A simple

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