Indications for healthcare surge capacity in European countries facing an exponential increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, March 2020.


European healthcare systems face extreme pressure from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We relate country-specific accumulated COVID-19 deaths (intensity approach) and active COVID-19 cases (magnitude approach) to measures of healthcare system capacity: hospital beds, healthcare workers and healthcare expenditure. Modelled by the intensity approach with a composite measure for healthcare capacity, the countries experiencing the highest pressure on 25 March 2020 - relative to Italy on 11 March - were Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and France (

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