Transitions between diagnostic states in people with COVID-19 in Colombia

Manrique Ruiz et al.


To determine the probabilities of transition between different types of care and diagnostic states for the population infected with COVID-19 in Colombia, by age group.


Using the official reports of COVID-19 cases in Colombia, transition matrices were calculated for the states according to the location of an infected person during the evolution of the disease, i.e. home, hospital or intensive care unit (ICU). The probabilities that infected persons will move to a state of “recovery” or “death” within a 24-hour period were also calculated for different territories.


The population aged 66 or older had a higher probability of moving to the state of “death” in a period of 24 hours; this finding was confirmed for all the territories analyzed, with a probability between 52% and 57%, except for the Aburrá Valley where the probability was 25%. In Colombia, out of every 200 infected persons treated at home, one will require admission to the ICU within 24 hours. If the infected person is older than 65, one of every 53 cases will require admission to the ICU. Of infected hospital patients, one in 10 will require ICU admission within 24 hours.


The results provide information about the pressure that the increase of people infected by COVID-19 exerts on hospital capacity. Some people die without ever having been in an intensive care bed. The results of the transition probabilities show low case fatality rates for those under 65.

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