Personal Health

Study shows the fatal role of Ischgl, in the case of Coronavirus-spread in Germany

“The Wuhan Europe”, “Coronavirus-Hotspot”, “super spreader-Location” – the list of negative attributions for the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl, in connection with the Corona-pandemic is long (read more here). And not the obviously wrong, such as a study by the Kiel Institute for the world economy (IfW) close to you.

The researchers studied the spread of the Coronavirus in Germany and come to the conclusion: “proximity to Ischgl increases the rate of infection.” The investigation substantiate the importance of the ski resort as “Ground Zero” of the German Corona distribution.

Sluggish response in Ischgl was fatal

As a basis for the calculations of scientists, the data of the Robert Koch were the three economic Institute of the 401 districts and district-free cities of Germany. Just looking at the map you was: In relation to the infection of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are the most affected by the Coronavirus figures per 100,000 inhabitants – but also with strong regional Differences. The two countries have Ischgl the slightest distance.

Profit before health

The Corona-Hotspot: What happened in Ischgl?

Ski vacationers have contributed to the massive spread of the Corona Virus in Germany and Scandinavia. A Hotspot of the contagion wave: Ischgl in Tyrol. How could it come to this? Reconstruction of a failure.

The distance to the Tyrolean ski resort plays a role in how strong a Region is affected by Coronavirus? Yes, the Kiel researchers after the analysis of the data and your calculations. “A ten percent a shorter trip to Ischgl, increases the rate of infection in an average of nine percent,” says IfW-President and co-author Gabriel Felbermayr. “The other way around, the means Were all the German circles as far away from Ischgl as the County Vorpommern-Ruegen, there would be in Germany, almost 50 percent fewer infections with the Coronavirus.” From the most North-Eastern County is approximately 1100 kilometres on motorways and Federal roads to the Tyrol, southern Bavaria or Baden-württemberg to drive sometimes two hours.

The realization that distance plays a role, sounds a little surprisingly, however, in the case of a human-to-human infection, the mobility is a crucial factor for the spread of viruses. But: The scientists have looked at other Hotspots of the Coronavirus pandemic, the most affected district of Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia and the Region of Mulhouse/Grand-Est on the border of France to the Federal Republic of Germany. You could “prove no comparable geographical influence on the infection to happen in Germany, empirically,” it says in a communication to the IfW.

Why was the Spread in Ischgl, in consequence of so fatal? The authors of the study make the slow reaction of the authorities on the first Coronavirus cases in the municipality responsible for this: “Already on 5. March 2020 the first European country has been ranked the ski resort as a risk area. Nevertheless, only nine days later, quarantine activities have been commenced – the complete Lockdown followed later. Data from the 20. March 2020 show that a third of all cases in Denmark and one-sixth of all cases in Sweden could be attributed to Ischgl and back.”

In other words: Longer than a week, the Infected were able to spread largely unchecked, the Virus all over the world, because Responsible in Austria – remained unlike, for example, in the Kreis Heinsberg, or in the Region Grand-Est – long idle.

Also Religion plays a role

In the Tyrol, the public Prosecutor’s offices to run in the meantime, investigations of the reasons for the lax response, among other things, that the ski season out of greed should not be abandoned.

Infections in Germany

Current Virus-location: Just a city above the critical mark of 50 new infections

The researchers also looked at other factors that could have an impact on the outbreak in the German counties, for example, trade links with China, or the number of people in a Region who work in the home office. Result: “No influence, prove it.”

Unlike, however, the travel movements: “The analysis of the international tourism and contagious, an important factor for the spread of diseases is underlined.” Timely travel bans could restrict, therefore, the transmission paths and also the restrictions of everyday life and the mobility in Germany is not ensured, according to the researchers, that from Ischgl homecoming at the end of infected winter sports enthusiasts spread the Virus in the first line in their home region and beyond. “The distance to Ischgl in the course of time (is) for the observed cases are not irrelevant,” notes Felbermayr.

“Notes on the effectiveness of the Lockdown measures,”

Another abnormality, the researchers noted, however: “The Catholic culture seems to increase the number of cases is probably due to the many celebrations of carnival end of February,” said Felbermayr. The massive spread of the Coronavirus in the district of Heinsberg, for example, is associated with such an event in the community of Gangelt in connection.

“We consider our results as a first proof of the confirmation of the role of super spreaders locations for the spread of a pandemic,” write the study authors in their conclusion in relation to Ischgl. “In addition, we find evidence to the effectiveness of the Lockdown measures to reduce the spread of the Virus.”

However, as always in science: Should there be more data, could be the analysis in the future, differentiated or different. With the publication of the working paper open for the participation of other researchers in the discussion of the results.

Sources: notification of the IfW, the study of the IfW (English)

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