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Original article

Vol. 150 No. 1920 (2020) : a platform for short-term forecasting of intensive care unit occupancy during the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland

  • Cheng Zhao
  • Burcu Tepekule
  • Nicola G. Criscuolo
  • Pedro D. Wendel Garcia
  • Matthias P. Hilty
  • RISC-19-ICU Investigators for Switzerland
  • Thierry Fumeaux
  • Thomas P. Van Boeckel
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20277


In Switzerland, the COVID-19 epidemic is progressively slowing down owing to “social distancing” measures introduced by the Federal Council on 16 March 2020. However, the gradual ease of these measures may initiate a second epidemic wave, the length and intensity of which are difficult to anticipate. In this context, hospitals must prepare for a potential increase in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Here, we introduce, a platform providing hospital-level projections for ICU occupancy. We combined current data on the number of beds and ventilators with canton-level projections of COVID-19 cases from two S-E-I-R models. We disaggregated epidemic projection in each hospital in Switzerland for the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, hospitalisations in ICU, and ventilators in use. The platform is updated every 3-4 days and can incorporate projections from other modelling teams to inform decision makers with a range of epidemic scenarios for future hospital occupancy.


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