Covid Corona CSH

30.06.2020

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CSH president warns of second wave

CSH PRESIDENT SEES SIGNS OF A SECOND CORONAVIRUS WAVE

In an interview with the Austrian Press Agency (APA), CSH founder Stefan Thurner warns against a spill-over of coronavirus infections to Austria from neighbouring countries. He sees first signs of a second wave in Austria too, for example in the regions around Linz and Vienna.

As can be seen on the “CSH Corona-Ampel” (Corona Traffic Light System), several districts in Austria recently have switched from “green” to “yellow.” This means that the number of positively tested cases per 10,000 inhabitants has increased to over one per 10,000 inhabitants compared to the previous two weeks.

Using the same system, the Hub’s visualization researchers Johannes Sorger and Wolfgang Knecht have now constructed a similar corona traffic light for the whole world.

It is based on the daily data provided by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA).

The idea behind the international traffic light is to give people an easy-to-comprehend, intuitively usable guidance for travel decisions. “I would travel to countries colored green, i.e. countries with less than one new case per 10,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, without hesitation,” Stefan says. “I would not necessarily travel to countries colored yellow right now—and red is out of the question.” Stefan believes that the CSH Corona Traffic Light System does not match the current travel warnings issued by the authorities.

“THE SECOND WAVE IS HERE”

Looking at the case reports over time, a “second hill” is already appearing in several countries, Stefan explained in the APA interview, even in some countries, which initially brought the epidemic well under control, like Israel. Israel had the numberst almost down to zero. Now they are rising again. A “massive second hill” is currently emerging in Croatia, one of Austria’s favorit holiday countries, even though the numbers are still quite low. Almost the entire Balkans show a similar picture, Stefan explained.

The situation is somewhat different in the USA or in Sweden, where a much less rigid containment course had been followed. “There, the second wave goes in or over the first wave,” he states. That’s because there have always been relatively many cases and the numbers haven’t gone down as much as, for instance, in Austria. These states now appear red in the traffic light system, because they have more than ten approved coronavirus cases per 10,000 inhabitants. Countries like the Republic of Moldova, Saudi Arabia and Oman, South Africa and a number of South American countries also appear in red.

FOR EUROPA, SHIFTS TOWARDS YELLOW ARE EXPECTED

“There are also plenty of countries where a second wave is just around the corner,” Stefan points out, including Austria’s neighbors such as the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia or, to a lesser extent, Switzerland. Numbers are also on the rise in containment “model countries” such as Iceland or New Zealand. For Europe, Stefan predicts “almost certainly a shift towards yellow” (between one and ten cases per 10,000 inhabitants) in the coming days.

In Austria, “the lockdown was simply well timed,” he adds. “But this does not mean that Austria is immune to an increase in the number of sick people, especially as the holiday season is about to start.”

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