Virologist Andreas Bergthaler of the GECKO Commission explains why, despite the approaching summer wave in the third year of Corona, there is no reason to panic, but caution and common sense are still required.
The corona figures are rising, a summer wave is coming. This week, like every 14 days, the GECKO committee met again. “There was,” says virologist Andreas Bergthaler, “an intensive exchange.” Followed by the new Executive Report. As in Portugal, the highly contagious subvariant omicron BA.5 is spreading here, so the team around simulation researcher Niki Popper presented several scenarios, including a possible wave peak before the fall.
“The Dry Runs Are Done”
“In general, of course, we are better prepared than in the past two years,” explains Bergthaler. “There was a broad scientific process. The dry runs are done. Now it also depends on how the government communicates everything.”
In any case, this plays a central role in answering the question of what it takes to get through the autumn and winter well prepared and without “panic actions”. According to Bergthaler, for example, you should clearly state what they can and cannot do with vaccinations. In particular, the focus must be (again) on certain population groups, especially vulnerable people.
Easier access to tests and medications
The virologist sees possible aids that do not limit or disadvantage everyone equally, for example in specially signposted train compartments for mask wearers or in easier access to tests and the medication provided. The subject of Long Covid also needs attention.
The new registry still has some catching up to do
The fact that since May there has finally been an Austrian register that distinguishes between hospital admissions with and due to Corona helps with this. Less that apparently not all federal states actually import the data.
A and O remain cautious and common sense when dealing with the virus. “Wearing a mask indoors for many people remains just as useful as the seat belt,” Bergthaler says, despite the summer easing. Knowing that in the fall we will “experience a déjà vu”, the limitations may return. Then you will see how well prepared you are.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.