An assertion supported by the figures: the number of daily admissions to the intensive care unit was indeed 317 on Saturday, March 20, against 382 on Thursday. The same goes for new hospitalizations in 24 hours, which amounted to 1,348 on Saturday, after 1661 the day before. Other media reported the same good news, coming from an AFP dispatch.
Unfortunately, the raw figures issued by the press agency do not make much sense. We now know, for a year that this epidemic has lasted, the data communicated on weekends by hospitals are always lower than those for the week. Due to a reduced staff on Saturdays and Sundays, this administrative formality of reporting information is often postponed to Monday and Tuesday, leading to an underestimation of data on weekends.
This is why we must always understand these figures on average over seven days, in order to avoid this statistical pitfall. The decrease then turns into an increase: the number of daily entries in intensive care on Saturday March 20, on average over the last seven days, amounted to 352, against 333 the day before. The same goes for new hospitalizations in 24 hours, which finally amounted to 1,565 on Saturday, against 1,492 on Thursday.
France Info ended up making a correction to its initial tweet. And correct himself by saying that the news is, alas, less good than announced.
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