Politics

Corona traffic light: Commission sees “very high risk” – and expects a further sharp increase

The traffic light commission expects the significant increase in the number of corona cases to continue. With the exception of Vorarlberg, there is already a “very high risk”.

Consideration should be given to withdrawing the relaxation of the visiting rules in the hospitals, the committee said after the weekly meeting on Thursday afternoon. This applies in the event that the increasing load on the intensive care units continues.

Mutations have long been dominant

The new, more contagious variants have prevailed with the exception of two federal states. The South Africa variant is now spreading more widely in Upper Austria and Vienna. Vorarlberg remains an outlier, which is why it is still the only federal state to remain orange.

In the rest of the country, as in the rest of the country, there is “very high risk”, which means traffic light color red. This is probably due to the fact that the British variant has still not taken command in the far west.

The proportion of infections with an N501Y mutation, which includes British, South African and Brazilian variants, was only 30.3 percent in Vorarlberg. In comparison, these more contagious and probably more dangerous variants are represented by 88.1 percent in Burgenland. These mutations have also long been dominant in Salzburg (78.9 percent) and Vienna (72.3).

The connection between the dangerous mutations and the number of infections is interesting. The four countries with the lowest seven-day incidences, namely Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Styria and Upper Austria, are also those in which the dangerous variants have spread the least.

It is also noticeable that Vorarlberg is, besides Lower Austria, the only federal state in which the development of the new variants is stable and not increasing. However, apart from Vorarlberg, the commission sees Tyrol as the only federal state where the new variants are not yet dominant.

Increase in intensive care units

The burden on the health system has increased compared to the previous week. The Corona-specific exposure of the intensive care units was 16.1 percent based on all reported intensive care beds as of Wednesday, writes the traffic light commission. Forecasts by the COVID forecast consortium showed further increases to over 20 percent by March 24th. If the number of cases continues to rise, the relaxation of visiting regulations in the hospital sector should be reconsidered.

The “Ländle”, however, remains below the mark of 100 to 100,000 inhabitants (79.6 and 92.1 respectively) for another week, both for the raw and the risk-adjusted seven-day incidence, which takes into account factors such as the age of the infected. Only Tyrol is otherwise close to this value, which plays a central role for the orange color (102.8 and 125.1).

On the other hand, things look somewhat worrying in Salzburg. The risk-adjusted 7-day incidence even exceeds the 300 mark (313.7).

Contact tracing successful

In all countries, the source is currently found in a majority of cases, albeit only in just over half, except in Tyrol and Vienna. Most asymptotic cases are fished out in the federal capital (49 percent).

There are relatively large differences in the number of tests per 100,000 inhabitants. The range extends from 25,542 in Salzburg, which could explain the high number of infections there, to 12,843 in Carinthia. Otherwise, Tyrol, Vienna and Upper Austria are below the Austrian average for the tests. Carinthia (1.4 percent) and Vienna (1.3 percent) have the highest positive rates for the rapid antigen and PCR tests. In Vorarlberg it is just 0.4 percent.

If you look at the districts, there are currently four that, when looking over the week, skip the magical 400 / 100,000 population limit, from which exit tests are to be established. These are in descending order Wiener Neustadt-Stadt, Hermagor, St. Johann im Pongau and Jennersdorf. Lienz and Wiener Neustadt-Land were already close to the value last week. The once badly affected district of Reutte has the best numbers in Austria, where only three new infections were added last week, which corresponds to an incidence of 9.1.

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