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Title: The shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients during the lockdown of Wuhan, China
Authors: Zhuang, Z 
Cao, P
Zhao, S
Han, L 
He, D 
Yang, L 
Issue Date: Feb-2021
Source: Annals of translational medicine, Feb. 2021, v. 9, no. 3, 200
Abstract: Background: The 76-day lockdown of Wuhan city has successfully contained the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. However, to date few studies have evaluated the hospital bed shortage for COVID-19 during the lockdown and none for non-COVID-19 patients, although such data are important for better preparedness of the future outbreak.
Methods: We built a compartmental model to estimate the daily numbers of hospital bed shortage for patients with mild, severe and critical COVID-19, taking account of underreport and diagnosis delay.
Results: The maximal daily shortage of inpatient beds for mild, severe and critical COVID-19 patients was 43,960 (95% confidence interval: 35,246, 52,929), 2,779 (1,395, 4,163) and 196 (143, 250) beds in early February 2020. An earlier or later lockdown would have greatly increased the shortage of hospital beds in Wuhan. The overwhelmed healthcare system might have delayed the provision of health care to both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients during the lockdown. The second wave in Wuhan could have occurred in June 2020 if social distancing measures had waned in early March 2020. The hospital bed shortage was estimated much smaller in the potential second wave than in the first one.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the timing and strength of lockdown is important for the containment of the COVID-19 outbreaks. The healthcare needs of non-COVID-19 patients in the pandemic warrant more investigations.
Keywords: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Mathematical modelling
Hospital beds
Publisher: AME Publishing Company
Journal: Annals of translational medicine 
ISSN: 2305-5839
EISSN: 2305-5847
DOI: 10.21037/atm-20-5248
Rights: © Annals of Translational Medicine
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See:
The following publication Zhuang Z, Cao P, Zhao S, Han L, He D, Yang L. The shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients during the lockdown of Wuhan, China. Ann Transl Med 2021;9(3): 200 is available at
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