COVID-19: Forecasting Consortium with DEXHELPP Participation for Risk Analysis of Delta Variant

Note: This is an automated translation (using DeepL) of the original German article.

COVID forecasting consortium publishes policy brief for Ministry of Health with outlook until September 2021

The newly emerged SARS-CoV2 delta variant (B.1617.2) of the Corona virus is about 50% more infectious than the previously dominant alpha variant (B.1.1.7), which is also known as the “British variant”. This allows the delta variant to spread more rapidly and thus successively displaces the alpha variant. In Great Britain, the delta variant is already responsible for 90% of all infections, and in Austria it is already responsible for more than half (approx. 60%). This raises the question of the epidemiological consequences and the resulting risk.

In order to better assess this, the COVID forecasting consortium has prepared a model-based risk assessment for the summer of 2021 (until September), which analyzes different scenarios. The basis for this was, among others, the simulation model developed by DEXHELPP, dwh GmbH and TU Wien.

The evaluation confirms that the pandemic is not over. Despite the current easing of tensions, maximizing vaccination coverage must be a top priority to minimize post-summer problems. To this end, increasing vaccination coverage and preparedness in all segments of the population is essential. In addition, measures that impose only minor restrictions on the population but help to dampen the increase in the number of cases should be maintained. In particular, maintaining a low-threshold and widespread testing offer - primarily with PCR testing methods.

The entire assessment of the Prognosis Consortium can be found as a Policy Brief on the Department of Health’s website.